Power start 2018: How to make goals and stick to them
After all the fun and indulgence of Christmas, January comes as a bit of a shock. Back to work, cold weather and many of us are counting the days until pay-day.
As if that isn’t bad enough, we invented New Year’s Resolutions to really beat ourselves over the head with and make January an utter chore. With an estimated 80% of resolutions broken by February, you might wonder why we bother. But here’s some tips to help you make a change in 2018, stick to it and maybe even enjoy it.
- Be specific
It’s easy to make vague resolutions like ‘I want to read more’ or ‘lose weight’, but these are exactly the kind of changes which are so difficult to make. Try to set some specific goals: ‘I’m going to read one book every month’ or ‘I’m going to lose half a stone this year’. It’ll make it easier for you to stick to, and you’ll feel like you’re achieving something when you hit those milestones. You can find lots of online trackers to help you set and measure your progress, such as Goodreads for challenging yourself with books and MyFitnessPal for tracking health and fitness.
- Make some time for it
We’re busy people and we’ll always find ways not to fit in a visit to the gym or make a healthy dinner. Look at your schedule and set aside a time you feel you can regularly commit to. Maybe Saturday mornings are a good time for that weekly run, or Tuesday evenings are always quiet, so you’ll be able to get that studying done. Obviously, be flexible, but a regular time slot is a good way of managing the goal.
- Put some dates in the diary
Perhaps your resolution involves seeing friends more often or visiting some places. Why not get a head-start on 2018 and get some dates in the diary now? It’ll give you something to look forward to as January limps along and it’ll force you to stick to those arrangements. Just think about practicalities: if you’re relying on other people to commit some money, perhaps wait until pay-day!
- Don’t worry about ‘failing’
So you missed going to the gym, or your busy schedule meant you lived off sandwiches and takeaways this week. That doesn’t mean you have to forget about all the good work you’ve done so far. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and carry on. These are hopefully changes that will stand the test of time, so one blip isn’t going to make much difference in the long-term. Be kind to yourself: you’re already doing better than those who haven’t even tried.
- Take every opportunity that comes your way
Maybe you’re working towards a great internship or career, or even just wanting to save towards your future. You won’t get there without grabbing hold of some chances that come your way, so take every opportunity you’re offered if it furthers your goals. Whether that’s attending a job fair on a wet Sunday morning or putting yourself out there with a speculative email, do something constructive whenever you can.
- Make resolutions you want to keep
Resolutions shouldn’t just be things you think you ought to do. Yes, you might think you should exercise more or make plans for the future, but try to include some fun things too. Maybe you’re a huge musical theatre fan but somehow never get around to seeing anything. Why not make a promise to yourself that you’ll see four musicals this year, either in the West End or more locally in regional theatres? It might not be a life-changing goal but it is a life-enhancing goal and it’ll make 2018 a much more exciting year for you.
Good luck! You can do it! :)