New year, new you … or, at least, that’s what we were all hoping for at the beginning of the year. But now, as January comes to a close, your resolutions may be fading (don’t worry – ours, too). But let’s not give up just yet! Whatever habit you’re trying to cultivate in your life (eating well, exercising, or maybe even just trying to remember to take your vitamins each day), there are a few things that you can do to help stick to and conquer your goals!
First of all, try to figure out what behaviors or habits are keeping you from accomplishing your goals. Meditation and practicing mindfulness can help you figure out why you’re doing certain behaviors that may undermine what you’re working toward. When you become aware of the root cause of a habit, such as stress causing you to eat unhealthy foods, you’ll become more able to notice when you’re triggered and realize that you can choose a different response, like a better habit of exercising your stress away.
Think About the Person You Want to Be
In his bestselling book “Atomic Habits,” James Clear writes that habits that stick are ones tied to identities we’d like to cultivate, rather than just things we’d like to do. For example, if you think of yourself as an athletic person, doing some form of exercise every day, such as running, yoga, climbing, or surfing, isn’t a hard habit to accomplish because it’s a part of who you consider yourself to be: someone who is physically fit. When you’re trying to decide on your habits, think about the person you want to become. You’re not trying to read a book every day; you’re trying to become a reader.
Make Your Goals Realistic + Manageable
As they say, you need to eat the elephant one bite at a time. How can you break your goal down into more manageable pieces? If your goal is to work out every day, could you start by simply putting on your workout clothes every day, making time to go to the gym (even if you don’t work out), or working out for five minutes? Simple steps toward your habit that are a minimal commitment will help you work up to making the greater commitment you want to make.
Visualize + Believe
Imagine yourself completing your goal. What would it feel like? What will it take to get there? Imagine the end point and then work backwards from there. What are the small steps you’ll need to take to achieve it? What are the benefits of achieving your goal? In addition to imagining yourself accomplishing your goal, it’s important to believe that you can accomplish it. Believe in yourself, lady! Believe that you have everything it takes and all of the resources you’ll need to accomplish it. Because you do!
Find others who are working toward the same goal – or who have achieved what you’re hoping to do. Tell other people about your goal, so you feel responsible to them and they hold you accountable to your goals. You may also choose to make your goals public in a forum, such as on social media or in our PS Life Facebook group.
Create a reward system for yourself. According to James Clear, if your habit isn’t something you necessarily look forward to, it can be helpful to pair your habit with something you do want to do. So if you love having a glass of wine every night, perhaps you only allow yourself to have it if you do a certain amount of exercise beforehand. Or if you enjoy getting a pedicure, but really should be getting educated about investing, perhaps you can only get a pedicure if you also read a finance book.
With some small, simple steps, you can help overcome the things keeping you from reaching your goals and achieve what you want for yourself and your life this year!Sources: Lifehack.org, Bustle.com, Dailyburn.com, Inc.com, jamesclear.com.