A new year inspires a lot of people to make lofty resolutions on how they want to change things in their lives.
“I want to lose 20 pounds; I’m going to the gym everyday; I’m having a dry January…”
And what usually happens? You don’t fulfill these promises and then feel like a failure! Only 46% of people who make New Year’s resolutions are successful.
The problem is that most of these goals are so huge that they’re unattainable. It’s almost like you set yourself up to fail, and instead of starting the year fresh you start with a load of guilt. Who needs that?
So, if you absolutely must set goals for 2024, make them achievable. Think through what you realistically can accomplish given your own living situation and schedule. Break those resolutions into bite-sized pieces!
Work out daily. “I’m going to the gym everyday.” No, you’re not. This is an unreasonable goal. Think in terms of going to the gym twice a week, which gets you into a new habit of taking care of yourself.
If you start to love it, you’ll be motivated to continue, even to go more often. And if two days a week is all you can manage, then you can still feel like a success.
Drink less - a “dry January.” If you’re used to having a glass of wine at the end of a long
day, or look forward to unwinding with friends and drinks, this feels like depriving yourself of more than just the booze.
Try doing half of what you usually do – that’s fair, it’s still a reduction, but one that you will actually be able to achieve. (Of course, if you have addiction issues that’s another story – go to AA, they can help).
Eat healthily. This is a big one! Think about what you actually eat, what is bad for your health, and then pledge to eat less.
Like, cut out fried foods one week a month; add one salad a day to your diet; make sure you eat something with high fiber every other day. And it’s not too hard to drink four glasses of water a day. It’s better to drink eight, but if you just substitute water for soda, you’re already doing great. Another win!
Save $1000 a month. Building your savings is a noble goal but you must think about what makes sense for your income level. If you bring home $5,000 each month, then you’ll never save $1,000.
Set a smaller goal, like $50 or $100 a month. If you eat out three or four times a week (including lunches!), try to limit that to twice a week.
Cut out extras (save them for a reward) like those Starbucks lattes, expensive drinks at a restaurant (just drink water), and before you know if, you’ve achieved your savings goals. And you can feel good about it!
Organize my home. This is so overwhelming! Especially if you’ve gotten to the point that your space is driving you so crazy, you’re compelled to make it a New Year’s goal.
Break it down into bite-sized pieces. Set a goal to focus on one room (or project) and just do 15 minutes a day. You can find 15 minutes, right?
Once you reach the end of your 15 minutes, stop. Really, I mean it, stop, and go do something else.
After one month you will have organized the equivalent of 7 ½ hours, practically without batting an eyelash. Isn’t that better than spending a whole weekend decluttering?
Reward yourself. How do you want to celebrate your now-possible successes? Think of something that you really love to do, see or - eat.
Setting rewards keeps you positively motivated, and when you reach your achievable goals, prepare to party!