We are a few months into the New Year now and if you’re like most people those resolutions are now mere regrets. All hope is not lost. It is not too late to dust off those New Year’s dreams and begin again. Here’s how.
Make a list
Write out a list of your top three resolutions. Next to each, list your motivations. Some things to consider:
· What prompted me to set this goal?
· Why is it important to me?
· What will be changed when I accomplish this goal?
· Why does that change matter?
Failure to accomplish a goal is rarely related to one thing. There is often a complex web of obstacles that must be navigated for ultimate success. Sometimes, the goal just wasn’t realistic. Take a look at what has blocked you so far and make a plan to get over the humps or refashion the goals. For example, maybe you planned to go to the gym three times a week. You didn’t make it because:
· You didn’t have childcare
o Can you talk with gym management about making care available for a small fee?
o Can you trade off childcare duties with a neighbor?
o Can you work out at home before the kids wake up?
· Your schedule went haywire
o Can you map every hour for a few days to spot time drainers (think Facebook surfing or Netflix binging)? Reallocate that time for exercise.
o Can you work from home a few days and reclaim the commute time for exercise?
o Can you break out your workout time into three-ten minute increments?
o Can you wear a fitness tracker and aim for 10,000 daily steps instead?
Even a team of one needs a cheerleader. Ask someone who understands why your goals are important to you to provide supportive accountability. While you’re at it, describe what your idea of accountability looks like. Is it gentle prodding, joining you for a run or offering an enthusiastic way to go? Being clear about what you need from your accountability partner means you are more likely to get the need met.
Sign up for a race or join a class. Both give you an extra measure of accountability and make fitness feel more fun. The structure of training or showing up for class also gives you more time to develop the habit. It actually takes around 66 days to cement a habit. That’s far longer than the 21 days we have long been told. Having a little extra accountability, sense of belonging, fun and even a t-shirt can provide the boost you need to reach your goal.
Give yourself a break
If you have long abandoned your New Year’s resolution don’t beat yourself up. You are still ok and you still have time. Revisit your goals, understand your motivation for reaching them, get some support, make a plan for success and get going. You can do this.