As January comes to an end, you may already be seeing great results from your New Year’s resolutions. So make sure you keep up the good work – here are 10 easy ways to stay on track and build on your success.
1. Keep a positive frame of mind
Start thinking of the task you’ve set yourself as a goal rather than a resolution. It’s much easier to work towards a goal than to resist the temptation of something you’ve forbidden. So, for example, rather than banning cake altogether, say that you’ll aim to have just one piece a week.
And remember to take some time to remind yourself what you achieved in the past – whether it was quitting smoking, running a charity race or getting a new job. It will give you a confidence boost that will make your new goals feel easily achievable.
2. Be specific
The more specific you are about your goals, the easier it will be to track your progress and keep motivated. For example rather than aiming to ‘get fit’ make it your goal to be able to run 5km by June, or if you want to keep a diary aim for one entry per week. That way you’ve got something solid to work towards and it’s easy to see if you’re staying on track.
3. Be realistic
Don’t set yourself up for failure – make sure your goals are realistic in the long-term. It’s far better to succeed at small steps than to be over-ambitious and become unmotivated. Similarly, try to concentrate on one goal at a time so you can stay focused and not become overwhelmed.
4. Start small and be patient
Success takes time, so if you haven’t already, be sure to invest at least 30 days into your goal. After that time you should start seeing results that will inspire you to continue and then you can commit to more small steps.
Then aim to keep it up for another two months or until another milestone in your life, like your birthday. The chances are the longer you do it, the longer you’ll want to keep it up for!
5. Focus on why you’re doing it
When you’re focused on working towards a goal, it can be easy to lose sight of why you are doing it in the first place. Take time to remember that, for example, you’re not just saving money, you’re getting one step closer to that indulgent holiday. If it helps, use visual inspiration like a photo of your dream holiday in your wallet.
6. Reward yourself along the way
Keep motivated by congratulating yourself on small successes. Cross each day off on a calendar or celebrate milestones with friends and family. It will motivate you to keep going and will give you something to look back on when you’re struggling.
7. Find your support system
You’re bound to have moments when you feel unmotivated so you need to know who you can turn to. Talk to friends who will encourage you, or if you prefer, find support online. There are online forums dedicated to meeting goals where you can find encouragement from people who are in a similar position. You can even find groups or hashtags on social media like Facebook and Twitter.
8. Develop good habits
To help meet your goals in the long-term you may need to rely on some other good habits. For example, be patient while you’re waiting to see results, reduce stress so you’re in a more positive mindset, and practice self-control to keep on track. If it helps, think of self-control as a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it will become.
9. Don’t give up at your first slip up
Even with your best intentions, you might slip up occasionally. But don’t use it as a reason to give up, and don’t be too hard on yourself. Just get back on track when you can and remind yourself of everything you’ve achieved so far.
10. Get off to a good start
They may be called New Year’s resolutions but if you’re struggling consider postponing your goal until a better time. Wait until you feel you have the time and energy to make the best start possible – whether that’s February, Spring or even later!
Need more help staying on track? Three of the best apps for meeting goals:
Coach.me has a list of self-improvement goals to inspire you, and reminders, community support and professional coaches to help you achieve them.
Available for Android and iOS, free, lift.do
With Any.do you can merge your daily tasks and personal goals to give you a day by day plan to achieve everything you set out to.
Available for Android and iOS, free, any.do
Smart Goals allows you to organise your habits, dreams and goals into one place, enter milestones, see your success rate and share your progress with friends.
Available for iOS, £1.99
A handy smartphone app so you can view your policy on the go. It’s available for you to download today.
Just visit the App Store or Google Play.
Need more help meeting your health goals?
If you have an Aviva Health Insurance policy, sign up to MyHealthCounts today. Our 12-week programme of information and advice will help you meet your goals and achieve a healthier lifestyle. www.myhealthcounts.co.uk/