Find it hard to stick to your ambitious goals at the start of every year? Follow these 5 tips to help you break the resolution disappointment cycle in 2015.
Some of us may be feeling guilty over our indulgences during the festive season, but rather than regretting the mince pies and champagne, making a realistic resolution may be the answer to embracing the New Year in a fresh light. Here are 5 tips to help you achieve your goals with ease.
1. Team up with a friend
Setting goals with another person in a similar situation may be the key to success. This approach holds you accountable and you also have more of a chance of setting a realistic goal if you team up with a friend. Getting over enthusiastic about your goals may act as a de-motivator; particularly if the time frame set is unachievable. You may find that working towards a goal with a friend can keep you inspired as you encourage each other and reward progress rather than feeling unmotivated by the fact that you don’t look like Rosie Huntington-Whitely after two weeks.
2. Formally announce your intentions
Sharing your intentions with others, such as on a social media network, is another way to hold yourself accountable. If your goals are health related, as many of them are, International studies by Thaler and Sustein have shown that by creating a social network positioned around health it can create better results than individually focused programs and interventions.
3. Be realistic
Many people make the mistake of giving themselves a list of resolutions to try and achieve rather than just one that they can focus on. Although you might be a natural at multi-tasking, committing to more than one goal at a time, especially if they’re quite large tasks, can be very demotivating, especially when you are not seeing progress. Keep in mind that we only have a certain amount of willpower and energy needed to carry out all of these resolutions at the same time. Having a singular goal to work towards may increase the likelihood of you seeing it through to the end.
4. Choose a resolution that matters to you
Put some thought into your resolution as there is no point in making one that you feel you ‘should’ want. If you set a goal that you actually want to achieve, then you may have a larger chance of seeing it through. A great way to do this is to make sure your resolution is aligned to your highest values. When thinking of what resolution to make ask yourself the question ‘why is this important to me?’ Just because your best friend chooses to lose 5 kilos does not mean that you have to!
5. Hedge your bets
A new Australian website, Promise or Pay, encourages you to make a ‘promise’ and pledge money to charity which is paid if you do not follow through with your promise. You are then encouraged to get at least one person to support you who pledges money to charity should you keep your promise. This holds you accountable and will further motivate you to follow through (since they’ll donate and you won’t). This ensures a win-win outcome for the charity and, and even if you break your promise, at least you can feel good about yourself knowing your money is going towards a good cause.