10 Tips to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution Momentum Alive
January is here. It’s been a few weeks since you made that yearly New Year’s resolution and promised yourself you would stick to it. Maybe you decided to read more books, implement a new fitness regimen, improve your diet, or work on your time management skills. Whatever your resolution, perhaps you took our earlier advice to set yourself up for success (we sure hope you did!).
Now that the excitement of starting something new has worn off and some time has passed ask yourself: am I really sticking to my New Year’s resolution?
If you are like many of us, the answer is up for debate. At Knew Health, we promised you support as you set your health and wellness goals, and that’s exactly what we’re delivering to you. We know how easy it is to lose your motivation and set your goals on the back burner. Don’t worry–that’s normal. It’s also why we’re here! We are the accountability partner that will never leave you stranded. Read on to get some fresh tips for amping up your New Year’s resolution game and sticking with your goals–long past January! Keep this page handy whenever you feel yourself getting a little off track (and share it with your real-life accountability partner while you are at it).
Tip #1: Schedule it
Time management is arguably one of the most important factors when setting new goals. Being “too busy” or not having enough time to work out or read a new book is the number one excuse for not making time for the things you want to do. Be proactive by setting aside ten minutes at the beginning of every week to schedule the tasks you need to accomplish to meet your goal. Break your larger goal into smaller, achievable tasks, then put them on your calendar. Whether you rely on a digital calendar or a paper calendar, carve out the time you need, so you can’t use the excuse of time. Even scheduling 15 minutes to read daily, 20 minutes to plan meals for the week, and 45 minutes to grocery shop can make a big difference. It can help you stay focused and on track.
Tip #2: Get Visual
If you haven’t done it, now is the perfect time to create a vision board. A vision board is a visual representation of what you plan to accomplish. Your vision board should be more than just hoping or wishing; it should be a look through your eyes as if your goals were already achieved. What would your life look like if your goals were met? How would it feel? As certified health coach Lisa Jackson has said: “Become a witness to your future self!”
That’s what your vision board should embody. Cut out images or powerful statements from magazines or print them out from your computer and assemble them in an appealing way on a poster board. Once complete, hang it where you will see it daily. This will serve as a reminder to you of what or who you plan to be.
Tip #3: Keep a Journal
Research has shown that keeping a journal when you are tracking a goal can increase your chance of success. Daily journaling keeps you committed and focused on your goal. Your chance of success increases when you write your goals down and revisit them frequently. You can use a journal to track your motivation, habits, and tasks and then use it to see what worked and what didn’t work for you. Jot down advice or recommendations from others, stash away recipes, and keep track of helpful websites, apps, passwords, etc, that are all a part of your journey. A journal serves as a way to stay organized and keep everything associated with your resolution in one nice little spot. Bring the journal wherever you go to keep you accountable and for bursts of motivation when needed.
Tip #4: Budget
Knowing your budget when you start something new is a good idea. Sure, setting goals is free, but nice gadgets and conveniences always make it more fun when trying hard to accomplish something. If you are on a tight budget, weigh the pros and cons of each item you want to purchase and whether or not you can go without or choose a less expensive (or free) option. Consider a free library card rather than an eBook membership if reading more is your ultimate goal. Perhaps more exercise is your goal? See if you qualify for reimbursements or an allowance on a gym membership through your health insurance plan or your medical cost-sharing membership. Or if healthier eating is your goal, search online for some healthy and budget-friendly recipes to make ahead of time. There are always low-budget options. You just have to know where to look.
Tip #5: Tell Others
A lifestyle change is challenging when you go at it alone. There is strength in numbers. This doesn’t mean that your family and friends all need to join you in your health and wellness journey (though that would be nice, too!), but it does mean that you shouldn’t keep it a secret. There should never be a reason to hide your goals. In fact, telling others about your plan can actually help you. Whether it’s to offer you encouragement or simply to understand why you’re opting out of Nachos at happy hour and subbing your soda for water, putting it all on the table can ease the conversation and help others support you when you might least expect it.
Tip #6: Establish Your Accountability Partner
Speaking of support, we talked in a previous article about the importance of finding the right accountability partner. If you have yet to find her (or him), keep looking. Ideally, you should find a partner working towards a similar goal and determine how best you can support each other. Start a walking routine, meal plan together, or be the first to text each other in the morning when motivation can be at its peak. Having the support of someone going through it alongside you can make or break your motivation.
Tip #7: Be Flexible
It’s nice to finally get into a routine where you can see progress and improvement, but remember to be flexible. There will be occasions where you’ll have to skip a gym workout or dine out at an event, or your reading goal for the month gets put on hold when the kids get sick. Life happens! During these times, it’s important to be flexible and know that your goals will still be there to crush tomorrow. Don’t let a roadblock interfere with your endgame. And definitely don’t let it be your reason to quit.
Tip #8: Plan Time for Weekly Reflection
At the end of every week, schedule 10 minutes to reflect. Take out your journal and review what you have done all week. Jot down how you feel, how you think it went, and what you might do differently next week. You can keep doing the same as you did if you are happy with your progress, or you can adjust your plan and try something new. Reflection is an integral part of the process.
Tip #9: Reward Yourself
What better way to celebrate an achievement than giving yourself a little reward? You can set up motivating rewards to help you reach your goals quickly. If you’ve met your reading goal, reward yourself by watching the movie version of your book (think popcorn and new pajamas!). If you’ve gone to ten group fitness glasses, reward yourself with a new water bottle. Have you stuck to new meal planning and healthier eating habits? Reward yourself with a recipe for a healthy version of your favorite dessert. Rewards don’t have to be grand or expensive–just something extra that motivates you to meet your bigger goals.
Tip #10: Give it Time
If February arrives and you have yet to see much progress, please don’t give up. It’s natural to be frustrated and want to quit. Change doesn’t happen overnight. When you see other people reaching their goals, know that it didn’t come without persistence, frustration, dedication, disappointment, and even some failures for them. Rarely do we see the day-to-day struggles that other people go through, so when we hit struggles of our own, it’s common to think it is not part of the process. We don’t immediately set a goal and then meet it–it’s just not that simple. There are a ton of ups and downs that come with it before we can meet it. The key is to trust the process and know that progress will come if you put in the work!
As January unfolds, the initial enthusiasm for New Year’s resolutions can wane, making it crucial to stay focused and committed to your goals. Remember that progress is a journey, not an overnight success. Embrace the journey, celebrate small victories, and be kind to yourself when facing setbacks. The key is consistency, resilience, and a positive mindset. By incorporating the ten tips discussed in this blog into your daily routine, you’ll increase your chances of sticking to your New Year’s resolutions and transforming them into lasting habits that contribute to a fulfilling and successful year ahead. Here’s to a year of growth, self-discovery, and achieving the positive changes you set out to make!
Chiu, Lin BA. “Progress Is Not Always Linear: Don’t Let It Discourage You from Your Goals.” Resolve, www.kcresolve.com/blog/progress-is-not-always-linear.
Ross, Graham. “Overcoming Roadblocks to Achieving Your Goals.” University of Strathclyde Glasgow, www.strath.ac.uk/workwithus/trainingconsultancy/continuousimprovementforyourorganisation/ourblogs/overcomingroadblockstoachievingyourgoals/.
“We’ve Got 99 Reasons to Journal… Here Are Your Top 7.” Habitbetter, 10 Jul. 2020, www.habitbetter.com/top-ranked-benefits-of-journaling/