How to achieve your New Years Goals
When the New Year approaches most of us like to take time to reflect on the year that has passed and what changes we would like to make for the following year. We want to create a fresh start for ourselves, to become the best versions of ourselves. Around 45% of Americans will set New Year's resolutions to help them achieve the reinvention they are hoping for, however only around 8% of us actually achieve our New Year's resolutions. 8%! So what is it that we are doing wrong and how can we give ourselves a better chance at achieving our goals?
For most of us the pressures of work, social life and unexpected temptations (like when a colleague brings in homemade cakes) prevent us from getting closer to our goals. But is that really the reason that most of us give up on achieving our dreams or is it what we tell ourselves to make ourselves feel better? How many of the following sound familiar?
“I don’t have time”
“It’s too hard”
“I’m too tired”
“I just have to wait until after…”
“It will be easier once….”
“I don’t want to miss out on…”
The problem is not that we don’t have time, or any of the above for that matter. The problem is that we haven’t set the goal as a standard for ourselves or simply just don’t want to make the necessary changes to alter our daily routines. We get comfortable in our comfort zone and it takes time and effort to change that. At some point in our lives we develop beliefs about ourselves, beliefs about who we are and what we are capable of. Those limitations ultimately set the standard for our day to day life, our habits if you will.
Broken down it could look something like this:
Let’s say your goal this year is to start a youtube channel, but since you were a child you were lead to believe you were shy. Maybe a parent or teacher said something along the lines of ‘Oh she’s far too shy’ and there it is, the start of your belief that you are shy. So you then avoid certain situations like public speaking or being the centre of attention because you have given yourself the limitation of being shy. But what if you aren’t? What if you exude confidence you just have never expressed it because you don’t believe it to be true about yourself. Most of the decisions we make are determined by the beliefs we have about ourselves, from the work we do, our hobbies, even down to the friends we have.
Our beliefs and therefore habits are not easy to change, we have had years of practice in becoming the way we are, but if you want to succeed in achieving your New Year goals then I want to help you. I’m going to talk through some small steps you can help to get you into that 8% of people, so grab a pen and paper and get ready to start doing this for you!
Firstly, I want you to look at what your New Year's resolution is. What is it about this particular goal that is so important to you? Why do you have to make the changes necessary to achieve this goal and what will it mean to you to become this person? Most of us are not driven by the end goal but by the actual process of becoming better, so instead of having the mindset of what you need to lose or give up, try to focus your attention on all the things you have to gain. Is it better health? More energy? Feeling more confident in your own skin? Whatever your reasons they should be personal to you and really express the importance of why you must achieve this goal, this time with no excuses.
Next I want you to look at your life now. Write down honestly what obstacles you currently face, or the habits you currently have in place that prevent you from becoming the best you. No excuses here, you really need to own up and take liability for this area of your life. For me personally, in the past I know I have surrounded myself with people that are toxic to the life I have tried to create.
The people in your circle have a huge effect on the standards you set for yourself. If your friends are not taking actions to better themselves it is unlikely that you will too. Now I’m not saying you have to ditch your mates (although it some cases perhaps you do?) but it may be worth setting some boundaries or introducing some new friends into your life too. If your goal is to get into better shape, try making some new friends at your gym. If your goal is to start your own business, meeting like minded people at networking or personal development events could potentially be very beneficial for you.
For most of us though, our ‘bad’ habits start with us. We might be too tired to workout, but have enough energy to sit and watch reruns of our favourite shows until the early hours of the morning. How about making the excuse that you don’t have time to cook healthy meals, but somehow you find time to drive to the store to pick up pizza or ice cream.
Be really honest with yourself in this task, if you want to make life long changes you first need to be aware of where those changes need to be made.
Ok this third and final step is my favourite part. Read over the goal you have set yourself and really let it sink in. Visualise yourself achieving this goal, what does it feel like? What does your life look like now you have reached this new potential? What new habits do you have?
Let’s say your goal is to save money. You are debt free, you have savings in your account as well as an emergency fund (just incase). You no longer have to experience that panic of will it/ won't it work when you hand over your card to the cashier because you know you always have money in your account. Now that you are savvy with your savings you prepare all your meals from home so you don’t have to splurge on unhealthy take outs. You’ve also saved money at the gym by using the Tone & Sculpt app home workout guide instead. As a result, you are not only in better shape financially, but you’ve now improved physically and mentally too. Now you have more options you want to invest in property, or even start your own business, there is so much potential!
Your new routine is very different, it includes waking up earlier than you do currently to get your morning workout done, you listen to a money saving podcast on the way to work so you are up to date with the latest tips on the best ways to save, each week you attend a class on skills for business owners, you’ve made new friends at this class who support your goals and cheer you along each day.
Really visualise each and everything you do each day now that you have reached your goal. The best way to achieve your goal? Act as though you have already achieved it! The new daily routines that you have visualised should be the same daily routines you aim to swap out for the ‘bad’ habits you have now. Write down all of these new habits in detail, this is what you are working towards, this is how you get to your goal.
The important thing here is that your intent and your actions are matched. It can seem slightly overwhelming at first so I strongly suggest breaking it down into manageable tasks. Once you have your list of new habits you’d like to create, start with the easiest one. Once that one small change becomes routine to you, then think about introducing the next. Let’s say for example you want to have a healthier lifestyle, and as part of that you want to reduce your body fat percentage. You would love to be one of those women that jump out of bed at 5:30 in the morning to go to the gym but your bed is so warm and cosy, and 7am already feels too early to start the day. My advice to reaching this goal would be to start by going to bed 30 minutes earlier. I know you might be thinking ‘how will this make me get up early?’ but if you are aiming to get to your goal of waking up at 5:30 but still going to bed at 11pm, you are going to tire yourself out very quickly. You want to be sure the changes are manageable, gradual and realistic. So my steps to getting up earlier would look something like this:
Go to bed 30 minutes earlier
Get in the habit of getting your things ready for the next day the night before
Go to bed 15 minutes earlier
Wake up 15 minutes earlier
Get in the habit of doing the 15 minute workouts from the Tone & Sculpt app in the morning a few times a week
Go to bed 15 minutes earlier (You are now in bed by 10pm each night)
Start to set your alarm for 6:30am
Start introducing the home workouts into your morning routine
Aim to be in bed by 9:30pm each night
Set your alarm for 5:30am and ensure you have your gym bag ready the night before so you can start going to the gym in the mornings and smashing your goal. You can start doing this once or twice a week and build your way up.
Slow progress is still progress, keep this in mind when you are working towards your goals. Take a look at my goal setting blog for guide on how to set your goals effectively. Stop limiting yourself to what you believe to be true for you and start living to your full potential. Time to start believing in yourself and doing this for you!
I would love to hear what your New Year’s Resolutions are and to help keep you accountable, so comment below what your for this year is and be sure to tag us on your socials so we can keep up with your progress.