2020 is here and most of us have some ‘New Year Resolution’ for ourselves. You might want to give up a bad habit, eat healthy, get fit, or travel more—maybe just like the ones you made last year? Why do we fail to stick to our resolutions and add to our failed attempts every year? The answer is simple.
A new habit takes time to build and requires patience and energy. And, us, living in a zero-patience generation, are used to quick results; which is also going to happen this year. So, how can you ensure this year doesn’t turn out to be like every other year?
Break down your goals into small pieces
Having big dreams is good, but it is better when you are sure about the approach road towards it. A good way to build one is to divide the goal into small, achievable targets. For example, if you plan to lose 10kg this year, divide it into 2kg per month, which is doable and doesn’t sound scary. This will do two things, take you closer to your goals as well as motivate you to carry on. This way you can breeze through your smaller targets to achieve the bigger one.
Know why you want to change
Understand why you want to change a current habit. Make a list of its pros and cons and jot down the benefits of your new habit over the old one. Once you have a clear list of solid reasons, sticking to a resolution becomes easy. The benefits of new habits will help you in not giving in to old ones; that way you’ll surely muster the courage to think through and take the hard left toward change.
Make a legitimate commitment
Make yourself accountable. Write down your resolution or keep a record of it somewhere. This will encourage you to slog through your tough spots. Just saying it out in your head and moving on in life is not going to motivate you enough to carry on for a long time. You can also share it with your family and friends; that way they too will ensure that you do not derail from your goals.
Give yourself a pat on the back
Go easy on yourself. Clap for your efforts and patience. You don’t have to wait for the last mile to be completed to call yourself a winner. Every little milestone you cross is a win in itself. Acknowledge success as you tick off small steps en route to your bigger goals. It’s not about being complacent; it’s just being happy that slowly you are getting closer to your goals.
Learn and relearn
If you feel at some point that your goal is getting further away, or you just cannot carry on, then pause. Don’t be in a rush to quit. Take a moment to think about what worked and what didn’t. Maybe the target was indeed too big, or the timeline you set for yourself was unrealistic. A little introspection will give you your answer. Look out for loopholes and see how you can fill them. Once you know the problem area, you can focus on how to fix it.
Remember, change is uncomfortable and you might not like this process. But give it time, you will thank yourself later, because sooner or later it will benefit you.
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