How to Maintain Motivation in Accomplishing Your New Year’s Resolutions and Everyday Goals
At the start of every new year, it seems like the same thing happens again and again – we start out thrilled about a new goal or idea we have. Maybe it’s going to the gym more, finding more “me time,” or eating healthier. But not too far down the road, life gets in the way, and before we know it, our New Year’s Resolutions are no more. Why is it so hard to keep these resolutions every year?
This month at Kang’s, our students are learning about motivation. Before reading any further, know one thing – no one is perfect. It’s okay to fail sometimes. What matters, though, is how you react after your “failure.” Do you react negatively? Tell yourself you messed up again? Give up on that goal? Or, conversely, do you take it as a lesson, and move forward from it?
Remember, accomplishing long-term goals isn’t an easy thing to do – if it was, many of us would be millionaires driving sports cars and living in mansions! Below, I’ve listed 5 key ideas to remember throughout your journey to success in achieving your goals:
Write it down.
Most people find that they remember tasks and appointments by writing them down. When writing down your goals, make sure that they are somewhere you can see them often – maybe in your calendar, on your bathroom mirror, your fridge, and the like. The more you see your goal, the longer it will stick in your brain, making it easier to remember.
Set more precise, measurable goals.
One of the biggest problems people have in setting goals or resolutions is choosing objectives that are too difficult to achieve – these goals are either “big picture” goals that are either too generic or have an undefined timeline. These kinds of goals seem impossible to achieve. Setting smaller, more defined goals will make it easier to measure them and to track your success!
Take, for instance, if your resolution is to “be healthier.” This goal is very generic, and will undoubtedly be difficult to measure your progress effectively and maintain for an extended time. Instead, break up this goal into more measurable sub-goals, such as “go to the gym 3 times each week,” or “eat at least one fruit or vegetable with every meal.” These are easily trackable, and don’t seem as intimidating as simply “be healthier.”
Start small and stay positive.
If your resolution involves something that might be difficult at first, remember that it is okay to start small with your goals. Maybe start with going to the gym 3 times a week, and gradually work your way up to 5 times a week. We teach this concept at Kang’s when we tell our students that it is impossible to get a black belt overnight. Students must gradually work their way to more advanced belts, setting increasingly challenging goals as they progress toward black belt.
At various points in your journey, you’ll have the opportunity to re-evaluate your goals, progress, and make any changes necessary. Maybe it’s too difficult to make it to the gym 3 times in a week, so bring it down to 2 for the time being. Maybe your workouts are getting easier, so increase the frequency or intensity. Especially at those times when you feel you’ve hit a plateau in your progress, it can be very beneficial to incorporate varieties and changes – this will re-vamp your excitement and motivation. It’s also crucial to remember to remain positive, even if your goals weren’t perfectly met. A little progress toward your goal is always better than no progress!
Including others in your goals can be so beneficial in maintaining motivation. Holding yourself accountable to someone else can help motivate you to get to the gym when you’re feeling a little un-motivated that day. Working on goals with friends or family members can not only make them more enjoyable, but can also strengthen your relationships as you are achieving your goal.
Set check-ins throughout your journey.
Maybe your complete goal spans the entire year, but you don’t need to wait until the end to check your progress. Set weekly, bi-weekly or monthly check-ins with yourself. Remember how we talked about setting smaller goals? This ties into your check-ins. During these check-ins, re-evaluate your progress and make any changes necessary.
Use these moments to reflect upon yourself – positively, of course! These checks are not a time to shame yourself for not meeting your goal perfectly. We are all human, and gracefully accepting our flaws and challenges are crucial to growth.
Thanks so much for reading along, and I hope this posting gives you the confidence you might need to accomplish your goals.
Oftentimes, life can get stressful, and it can feel virtually impossible to stay excited and motivated with various aspects of our lives. This month (and ideally, throughout the rest of the months), strive to find things that motivate you in your daily life. Practice mindfulness and positivity everyday, and watch as you succeed in your future goals.
If you feel so inclined, leave a comment below about your thoughts on motivation. Do you have any additional motivation tips to add? Do you have an inspirational story to share about a goal journey of yours? We’d love to hear your thoughts below!
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