The new year means new resolutions for many. Or, trying to fulfill the resolutions of last year (and the year before). But how do we ensure our resolutions stick this time? Here are seven handy-dandy tips to rock your resolution accountability.
1. Set resolutions that light you up
There are a shocking amount of people who set the resolution to lose weight. It's the stereotypical resolution to make. And most of those resolutions are forgotten by January 20th.
Not that health and weight loss don't make good resolutions. Health goals are super important in living a balanced life. But the goal of losing twenty or fifty pounds just doesn't excite most people. The idea of being a certain weight does, but the work involved in getting there actually overwhelms or deflates most people from reaching that exciting point.
But if your goal lights you up, you're far more likely to achieve it. So instead of deciding to loose ten pounds, chose to focus on an activity or food you like. Find excitement in riding your bike to work three times a week or having a salad every Tuesday for dinner (hey, there are people out there who genuinely like salad. Salad gets their endorphins pumping. I am so not one of those people but I celebrate those who are). Be intentional on making resolutions that are inspiring to you.
2. Write and post that (then look at it)
Resolutions become these things we say at New Years Eve parties, then never look back. A tried and true way of making sure you stick to new goals is to write them down and post them where you're going to see them. All the time. Every day if that's what it takes.
Here are examples of ways to make sure you see those goals:
- stick them to the fridge (especially helpful if you struggle with eating goals)
- set them as your computer's desktop image/tablet's wallpaper
- write them on your bathroom mirror
- tape them to your dog or cat
Okay, maybe don't do that last one. But you get the idea. Put your goals in a visible place, then they will become ingrained into your brain. Even better if you put them somewhere others can see them. Then there are people in your corner to hold you accountable too.
3. Frame it right
There's a psychology to goals. It's all sorts of interesting but here's a SparkNotes version. By writing your goals in affirmative, present tense language - and talking about them that way too - you ninja trick your brain into doing them. For more in-depth details on how to frame your goals, look at the authentic goals toolkit available only to in a sequoia subscribers.
4. Make a plan
You've got 365 days to rock these resolutions. That's plenty of time to make them stick. But for efficiency's sake, make a plan on how you're going to achieve them. Look at what steps need to be taken and when you need to take them by in order to stick to your plan.
5. Keep them in your agenda
Once you've got that rock solid plan, note down what you need to do each week to get closer to meeting your new years resolutions. Most agendas have a spare spot for notes or to-do lists. Use this. Bonus points: there's great satisfaction in crossing things off a list. We've all felt it. Write down your plan in list form, and you get to feel that joy of crossing it off when it's done.
6. Schedule goal time
Our biggest excuse for not reaching a goal is lack of time. This is bullshit. If time is troublesome for you, create blocks of time in your calendar where you focus on your goals. You don't even have to decide what goals to focus on, just mark that time as occupied. When it comes, follow the goals you are inspired to work on in the moment. If you really have trouble with this, start by practicing once a week, then work your way up from there. And remember, our goals are important and if its a goal that truly lights you up (see number 1), you'll make the time for it.
If you are still not managing to find time for that goal, reevaluate if it was the right one for you.
7. Get a coach
Friends and family are great support, but nothing beats the one-on-one goal focused time with a coach. They are experts in finding creative ways to reach your goals, helping set up realistic routes to success and bad-asses at maintaining accountability. Investing in a goal coach is an investment in your own development. Its work and they aren't about to do the work for you, but they are there to kick you into high gear.
It's going to take work to stick to your resolutions, guaranteed. Just saying what you want is not enough. But following these seven tips should make it a little easier.
Have other tricks to rocking that accountability? Share in the comments below!