The month of January is associated with new starts and setting goals for the year ahead. We begin with heaps of determination to make this year better than the last. But now that we’ve reached the end of the month, how many of us have actually kept up with our New Year’s Resolutions?
Apparently, January 12th is the day that most people start to give up and it is now known as Quitter’s Day. With research suggesting that it takes around twenty-one days to build a habit in the first place, this is a poor try at becoming the “new you”.
If, like the majority of the population, you have found yourself lacking motivation four weeks on, here are a few little tricks to help you make your 2018 goals last.
H O W T O S T I C K T O Y O U R N E W Y E A R R E S O L U T I O N
1. Possibly the most important factor in achieving your goal is to choose realistic and achievable goals. It’s good to be ambitious but you’ve got to assess whether your goals are actually achievable in the time-frame. Doing this has also been proven to make you more likely to continue to keep your resolution. Basically, an unrealistic goal will leave you feeling like you’re failing and therefore is likely to end in you giving up. If you’ve been feeling this way, don’t give up! Simply adjust your goal to become achievable.
2. Focus on habit over outcome. When you focus too much on the end result, it can seem like you’re miles away from actually getting there. Focus on changing the habits that are related to achieving that goal and you’ll find yourself closer to it in no time.
3. Another great way to keep motivated is to celebrate the little steps on the way to the final result. For example, if your goal is to learn a new language, what steps would you need in order to get there? First, learn the alphabet. Second, learn common words. Third, start to put them together into sentences. And so on. This way, you can track how far you’ve come and you’ll be spurred on to success.
4. It’s a lot easier to achieve things when you feel that you’re supported. Partner up or share your progress with a friend so that you have someone cheering you on. This could be a gym buddy who exercises with you or just a friend to text when you need convincing to stay away from the second chocolate bar… Find yourself a goal-buddy.
M Y 2 0 1 8 G O A L S
I don’t usually make New Year’s Resolutions as my goals tend to be an extension of what I’ve already been doing to improve my life. So it may seem like I have too many but I started most of these at some point last year. These are my main focus:
1. Stop skipping breakfast. I hate getting out of bed in the morning which has a knock-on effect, resulting in me being short on time and missing my morning meal – and then further along in my day I end up craving unhealthy lunches and snacks. This needs to stop. So far, I’ve been enjoying a small portion of porridge and a piece of fruit which keeps me full and gives me energy through the morning. I then have a healthy lunch and am perfectly satisfied until dinner. This plan is going very well and I feel much better for it.
2. Keep up with the news. I have always avoided reading the news as I find it so depressing. But that does mean that I am late to learn about important stories and events. So, I’m finally giving in and becoming a proper adult that reads the news. I’ve downloaded a couple of apps on my phone and this seems to be doing the trick. I’ll read in the mornings, on my commute or just before bed, instead of endlessly scrolling through social media.
3. Stick to a blogging schedule. A particularly demanding goal when you have a full-time job but I have put a lot of effort into my blog over the past two years and it would be a shame for it to go to waste. So, I must keep the momentum going and what’s more, I must improve. And this includes creating a proper schedule and editorial calendar to help me take it to the next level. At the moment, I’m playing around with which day of the week works best for me to post on. It’ll be different depending on your readership.
4. Reach halfway on the first draft of my book. I have started my first novel and this has been one of my dreams for a very long time. I am so excited about it and I don’t want to let myself down by never finding the time to pursue it. By setting myself a goal of reaching halfway through, I hope to inspire myself to keep it going in background. I did want to finish my first draft by the end of the year but that would be unrealistic if I also want to put time into my blog. So I’ve cut it down to become a much more achievable goal which is more likely to motivate me to do it.
5. Learn to write in Urdu. I am fluent in speaking Urdu as my mum used to refuse to speak to us in English when we were kids. I am very grateful to her for that. Not so grateful that she didn’t teach us how to write it though! Urdu looks very similar to Arabic when written down, with pretty, swirly lettering that I wish I could emulate. I have started learning how to write the alphabet, I just need to push myself to join the letters together now!
What are some of your goals this year? Do you share any with me? We could be goal-buddies…
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