It's the start of a new year, and you've set yourself resolutions to help make this your best year yet.
But with only 8% of people actually achieving their resolutions, how can you guarantee that you'll complete yours?
As the month gets busier it can be increasingly difficult to stick to your goals. That's why we've outlined our five top tips to help you achieve your targets.
The great thing about these tips is that you can apply them to any goal or aspiration. Perhaps you want to give your career a boost or get that promotion this year. Why not try applying these to your work life too, not just your resolutions?
1. Set specific, measurable goals
To make your goals attainable, make sure they're specific and measurable. This'll help you keep track of your progress, and give you an idea of what success looks like.
- E.g. Instead of setting yourself a vague goal to "read more", set yourself a specific target, such as "I will read 30 books by the end of 2020".
- E.g. Instead of planning to "exercise more", commit to doing 30 minutes of exercise four times a week.
By doing this you'll have clear targets to be aiming for, and you'll be extra motivated as you can check off progress you've made.
Tip: Why not find out about OKRs? They can be useful for your personal and work goals.
2. Don't beat yourself up
Perhaps it's only day 8 of the new year, and you've already broken your resolutions. It can be tempting to throw the towel in and quit altogether - but don't.
Don't give up entirely just because you've skipped a couple of days at the gym, or slipped up on your diet.
Instead, reflect on why you might have slipped up and think about how you can improve. Next, accept that you had an off-day, and resolve to start again afresh tomorrow.
Making mistakes along the way is completely normal. What sets successful people apart is that they don't give up even after a setback.
Your future self will thank you for not giving up. As the proverb goes, if you fall down seven times, stand up eight!
3. Break up a large goal into manageable chunks
It's always a great idea to challenge yourself and push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
But... Large goals can also be overwhelming. Sometimes, they can be so daunting that you hardly know where to begin.
The key is to break each goal down into manageable chunks, and to plan out how you'll achieve them.
Say you want to run a marathon by the end of the year. Start by creating a weekly training plan and figuring how you'll manage to reach that end goal - e.g. starting with a small 3k run, and then building upon that.
You can apply similar logic to any challenge. By breaking them up, they'll seem far more achievable and less overwhelming.
4. Tell people - so that you can be held accountable
This is the secret to achieving your resolutions.
By keeping your goals to yourself, you'll see them as "optional". No one will know if you don't complete them, and so you'll be less likely to do them.
By telling people your aims - whether that be friends, family, or sharing them online - you'll be held accountable, and have extra motivation to complete your goals.
People will be curious to know how you're getting along with your resolutions - and when they ask, you'll want to be able to give a good answer!
Tip: If you feel that this is too much pressure, why not write them at the front of your diary so that you have a written reminder of your aims?
5. Stay positive and open-minded
If your motivation is faltering by February, and you're finding the healthy eating and 6am gym sessions increasingly grim, then ask yourself a few questions:
- What was my motivation to begin with?
- Why am I working towards these goals?
- What successes have I had so far?
This will give you a renewed sense of understanding and motivation.
If your plan really isn't working, then ask yourself:
- How can I adjust my goals so that they're more achievable?
- What challenges am I facing, and how can I overcome them?
Adapting your goals so that you can achieve them isn't a sign of failure. In fact, it's a sign of good sense and resilience. It's better to achieve even 50% of your original goal, than 0%.
You're still working towards your own personal development, and that's always something to be proud of.
We hope you found our tips helpful! Remember, you can apply them to other aspects of your life too, such as career targets. We wish you every success in achieving your goals in 2020!