How To Set New Year Goals and Make Them Stick

Updated: Sep 18

Do you tend to start off the year with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm about what you want to work on and improve, only to find your motivation waning by late January or early February?

If this sounds familiar, your willpower may not be the problem. In fact, it if often our approach that creates the biggest challenge, especially if your goals have the potential to lead you down a path of frustration and disappointment.

But not this year! This year you'll be armed with 6 pro tips to keep you moving forward so you can go from goal digger, to goal achiever!

Keep it simple

Do you often come up with a fairly long list of New Year goals? This could be a big part of the reason why you find yourself struggling to see them through. Spreading yourself too thin between different goals or biting off one large lofty one is one of the main reasons why people fail with their New Year resolutions.

To increase your chances of success, don’t feel that you need to tackle everything at once. Chances are, you’ll quickly become overwhelmed and feel frustrated and discouraged that you’re not able to maintain the pace.

You’re more likely to succeed with your goals if you concentrate your efforts on just one or two areas, and focus on doing them to the best of your ability. For example, picking just one big goal, such as losing weight, or boosting strength and building muscle is going to take a lot of your energy and focus. You’re less likely to have issues with your willpower if you’re more realistic with the goals you set.

Set bite size goals

If you have a big New Year goal, working towards that end goal can feel daunting. When you first set a goal, it can feel like you’re a million miles away. The end result? You’re more likely to give up sooner than later.

Breaking down your goal into mini goals will help you to see your progress more easily. Ideally, this will involve goals that can be measured, such as weight loss or muscle gain.

If your goal is to lose weight, set a target for how much weight you’ll aim to lose each week or month. Each time you measure your inches or step on the scale you're able to see progress, a few pounds at a time. Or if your goal is to up your intake of leafy greens, aim for at least one serving most days and food journal to note when you're making it happen.

Once you’ve broken your goals down into bite size pieces, make a point of checking in with yourself regularly to see how you’re doing with them. If you can see yourself making progress, you're much more likely to be motivated to keep working towards achieving the bigger picture. Keep in mind, as you make progress you may find you need to tweak your mini goals to keep the momentum and bust through plateaus, such as increasing the intensity of your exercise or cutting out more processed foods.

Reward your progress

You don’t need to wait until you reach the end goal to reward yourself. The great thing about setting mini goals is they provide the opportunity to celebrate progress along the way, which offers you incentive to keep going. Just make sure the "reward" is not something that will sabotage your hard work to date. For example, if you’re trying to eat healthier or lose weight, you don't take yourself four for donuts or ice cream. Think of some fun and meaningful things you can do to celebrate your progress that won't sabotage your goals. Maybe it's a movie you've been wanting to see, a book you can't wait to read, a new pair of shoes, your favorite cup of coffee, or a beautiful candle. There are many ways you can reward yourself.

Write it down

Writing down your New Year goals and keep them somewhere visible to keep you motivated and remind you of why you started the journey in the first place. You’ll feel more accountable to yourself and are more likely to be successful in keeping them in the forefront of your mind when making choices.

You can take this one step further by journaling about your goals. By digging deeper into how you’re doing with them, why they matter, and noting where you might be self-sabotaging you raise awareness. And awareness my friends triggers action which inspires and motivates your meaningful transformation. Journaling is a great way to highlight successes as well as areas of challenge, offering valuable insight to keep you on track, in good and bad times.

Use positive affirmations

Positive affirmations are another powerful tool that can help you to stick to your New Year goals. Writing them down and repeating them each day is a great way to encourage your mind to embrace these statements as your truth.

Your affirmations don’t have to be complicated or profound. In fact, simple statements often work really well. Depending on your goal, it may be along the lines of “I am calm under pressure” if you’re resolved to stress less, or “I am beautiful, capable, and lovable" if you're mission is to improve your self-confidence and self-worth, or "I am worth living healthy and happy" if your goal is to improve your health and fitness. Whatever you choose, it’s important that you say it out loud and often. Repetition is key to creating habits and making them stick.

Aim for progress (not perfection)

Goals can present their own unique challenges and most people will have setbacks somewhere along the way. Let’s face it, it’s not realistic to think that it’s all going to be easy sailing when you’re making lifestyle changes. Encountering a setback on your journey is not a sign that you’re failing or that you should give up on your goals.

How you handle setbacks is often more important than a setback itself. Rather than focusing on getting it all perfect all the time, allow room for flexibility. And when setbacks happen, try to learn from them. Is something broken in the process or was it just an off day? Sometimes a few adjustments made to your current plan can make all the difference! Setbacks offer valuable lessons and allow us to continually fine tune our process, setting us up for the optimal outcomes.

Are you a busy man or woman who's ready to feel strong, live healthy, and get fit? Discover how to take small steps to get healthy & fit without cutting out the foods you love or spending countless hours on cardio. Come join me inside my online Facebook Community - The Healthy Habits Club. It's where busy folks go for tips, tools and support they need to eat healthy, move daily, and feel good for life!

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