The new year offers a fresh start — a clean slate. With the beginning of this new chapter, many people reflect on their past year, then set their sights on the year to come. What do you want to accomplish? Where do you want to be 365 days from now?
Perhaps you already have your list of resolutions. You know what you want. However, the other half of the equation is getting there — something that proves to be an uphill battle for many.
You might start the year off with good intentions, but by February, maybe you find yourself slipping. It’s an all-too-common tail. So, let’s explore how you can break this cycle and actually stick to your new year resolutions this year.
How to Set Achievable Goals
When it comes to goal-setting, you want to be as specific as possible. You also need to truly value your goals, reiterating your “why” when motivation is just not enough. Additionally, support for your goals counts for a lot, such as having a gym buddy.
But let’s peel this back.
When setting each goal, you want to incorporate the SMART method. This means that your goal should be:
- Specific - Include as much detail as you possibly can.
- Measurable - Set quantitative targets for tracking your progress and the outcomes.
- Attainable - This goal should be possible.
- Realistic - Similar to your goal being attainable, you should be able to complete the necessary steps toward this goal. In other words, make sure you consider the practical requirements.
- Time-Oriented - You should have deadlines for your progress and goals.
And that’s not all. You also need to break big goals down into smaller goals. For example, if you want to run a marathon under five hours, you need to write out all the smaller steps and goals that go into making that happen, such as signing up for a marathon, training, and more.
Planning is critical in following through with any goal. You may even want to consider setting reminders and calendar events for completing each step. You’ll also want to set aside time to dedicate to achieving each goal.
Tips for Developing Healthy Habits
Habits take time to make. In fact, research indicates that it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form a habit, with the average being about 66 days.
Usually, if you want to break a bad habit, you have to break the habit cycle. The habit cycle involves the cue, routine, and reward. For example, if you have a habit of grabbing a muffin on the way to work, a great way to break this habit is by taking a different way to work. This eliminates the cue.
For healthy habits, you want to reinforce them by celebrating small wins, as well as taking small steps to build each habit. For instance, if you want to eat healthier, go slow. Start by adding more veggies and fruit into your diet. A few weeks later, maybe lower the number of times you eat out each week to one. Find what works for you, but limit overwhelm by taking it all slow.
You can also incorporate habit stacking into your routine. If you want to start including supplements into your regular regime, such as Life Nutrition’s Advanced Probiotics, Algae Calcium, Bright Eyes, or Joint Support, you could do this after your regular breakfast. Since breakfast is already a current habit, all you need to do is remember to take your supplements afterwards. It really is that simple!
Lastly, don’t overcomplicate things. Always stick to simplicity over complex habits. Introduce one habit at a time if you plan on completely overhauling your lifestyle. Remember, great things take time and habits are no different.