Updated: Jul 16, 2021
New Year Resolution, it's the best intended conversation with the biggest aspiration for the coming year while telling our current self, 'I've reflected and realized I can do better.' Who doesn't want to be better or achieve all the things we always wanted and dreamt of? I think back to all the goals that I thought was going to solve everything missing in my life: have the perfect body, living lavishly with expensive cars and houses, traveling around the world, not having to work and creating charities to give back to the world. They all sound good and look good on a list and even better during a discussion with people what I will be working toward. This initial boost definitely can provide enough motivation to start taking some action, but eventually either the results are not forming fast enough or I realize I don't have the ability to get there, everything stops. And the cycle begins again each year thereafter, thinking back to what I originally had set out for and giving it another go.
Whatever happened to the 'If you can imagine it, you can achieve it?' Though I do believe that it's true, there are also steps missing in between that keeps us going and reaching that destination. Over the years I came to realize there are few things that were necessary to keep myself on track to build the momentum needed and to get to where I want to go. There are still many things I still need to work on, however, I thought I can share some insight on things that helped me and hopefully they can benefit you as well. Here are 5 Ways to stay on track of your New Year Resolutions.
Ask The Important Questions
When people ask me what are my new years resolutions, they usually boil down to a few things time and time again. Get fit or have a certain lifestyle. Although these are positive aspects and right direction to grow, they are often too general or when asked again, aren't something that I want. Without getting into painstaking detailed about what does getting fit mean or why a certain lifestyle is important, diving deeper in those question helped me have some clarity to what actions I need to take and what expectations I need to have.
Some questions I've asked myself to help focus on a meaningful goal are: What Do I Really Want to Achieve? Why Are They Important To Me? How Will I Feel After I Achieve Those Goals? What Am I Willing To Do To Hit Those Goals? And as I go through these questions, it brings certain resistance to the surface. For example being fit is important to me to be able to continue to have mobility as I age. Things I would need to do to accomplish this is to be consistent and continue to challenge my body as well as adopting a healthy and balance lifestyle. If I can't, then I can address those issues ahead and continue to stay on track.
Road Map Your Goals
Another way that kept me on track with my goals is to road map where I am at and where I need to get to. Similarly to a GPS, we type in our final destination and it unravels all the steps it takes to get there. If it's to another country, we would see that it tells us the distance, the time it takes for us to get there and also the stops in between we have to overcome to reach there. How many times have we checked what it takes to get to a destination and said, "I'm good, I don't need to go there now?" It is the same thing.
In contrast, when we are able to road map our goals, we are able to also see the process and prepare for any obstacles that may arise. This for me helped with a few things, 1. allowed me to see if I'm on track, 2. know what I need to prepare to overcome to get to the next point and 3. realize that if I have the ability to get through that I am more likely to continue taking action. Depending on if you're more an abstract thinking or detail specific, the way you road map can look different from one another. It needs to make sense for you and usually when you can logically see how you are getting from point A to B, you'll more likely able to get there.
Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
In continuation with the previous idea, road mapping may lead to discovering some things you need to overcome. When I realize that I am not prepared for when the circumstance brings resistance, I tend to either find excuse or give up entirely. Preparation for me is to get rid of as much excuses and energy it needs for us to start or continue taking the action to giving us the oomph to go.
For example exercising, without knowing anything can be hard to start. But with road mapping and preparing you can see whether or not you need to get a gym membership, have a personal trainer guide you, get the equipment needed to exercise or schedule something in your calendar. I have gone through, 'I need these things to happen in order for the next to happen' and when the prior doesn't, we lost the ability to execute. Preparing the leg work decreases possible nonsense that can come about and improves the focus on actions that directly lead to the results we want. Creating the environment is essential to taking action, and taking action on a consistent basis build the necessary foundation to get to that goal.
Adjust Your Expectations
Being flexible to adjustment is such a big thing for me. Many times my own ego stand in the way that if I fall off track, it's the end of the world and I can't continue what I need to do to reach my goal. I'll have to wait until next year and that process repeat itself. What I learned to do instead is to adjust my expectations. Maybe I need to change the date of the goal, realize it's okay to fall off track a little and not punish myself so much that I can't get back on.
For example, I've set my goal to go to the gym everyday and give it my all, but then I realize that wasn't realistic with everything else that I want to do. Instead, I will be okay to hit the gym every other day and that may delay my goal date. Or sometimes we have things happen in our lives that totally prevent us to do anything and that's okay, that's life. Everything is a learning process, especially on how we deal with challenges and roadblocks. But if we can forgive ourselves a little and give room to continue to work on, we may surprise ourselves to be consistent and get the results we want.
Lastly, one of the biggest thing that made a big impact on me is being accountable. Without some healthy added pressure, we can easily tell ourselves that we can let it go. That's how I view accountability sometimes and that can be different for everyone. Some may benefit with a To-Do List while others can use a daily or weekly reminder of what they need to accomplish. What I find most helpful to me is to also find someone who also wants similar goals to keep each other accountable. We are able to go through the same process and have that relatability to overcome what we each may find difficult.
This provides an accountability buddy to say, "What have you been doing and how is the progress? It's a reciprocal relationship. For some, you may need to check in everyday, another once a month. Depending on what goals you are working on, you may need consistent check up. I have find for myself weekly check ins ranging from a 30 minutes to an hour catch up beneficial. In days like a pandemic, this also provided additional support for my mental health. Some goals are also evolving and through the process and meeting certain thresholds you update them as you go.
New year resolutions or just goals in general can often be tricky and can have a counterproductive effect. Hopefully, these strategies can help you engage with your goals, have a stronger connection with them and also help you stay on track. While it doesn't need to wait until the new year to start, it's usually the best time while everyone is thinking about it to band with one another and work on it together. Know that the bigger the goal will take a longer span of time and anything that is an ongoing process will base more on consistency.
If you have any other recommendations to help keep you on track, please comment below. Also if you have any new year resolutions or goals you want to achieve, let me know down below. If this is helpful, give it a like or share it with a friend.
- Cheer, Q