It’s mid-January. The time when so many New Year’s Resolutions are really beginning to fail. I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions for many reasons. The biggest are too much pressure and too much guilt. We have enough of both already. Why add to it? Especially right after the stress of the holidays.
Often, people make large, vague resolutions. "I'm going to get in shape!" Three weeks later, they're feeling overwhelmed with the day-to-day, have missed a couple work-outs, feel bad about themselves and give up
We all have things we want to do better, areas to improve and goals to attain. We need them. They give us energy. They improve our mood. They boost our self-esteem. They inspire others. But ONLY if we feel like we are succeeding.
5 steps to success
- Set small, clear attainable goals. Lose weight. Get in shape. Pay off credit cards. Be less stressed. These are all to generic and too big. Break them down. Instead of “I will draw more” say “I will learn to draw sharks this month.”
- Make a plan. A clear, detailed, realistic plan that you know you can follow and succeed at. Account for any events that are coming up and modify your plan if you need to. “Week 1: Hammerhead shark. Find a tutorial and reference photos. Complete 4 sketches at different angles, one per day. Week 2: Great white shark”.
- Start today.You don’t need to wait for January 1 or Monday or any special date. Dates are arbitrary. 3 pm on Wednesday is as good as any other time. The important thing is to start.
- Reset, don’t quit. A bad day is a not a failure. It’s a bad day. Life happens. Acknowledge it, let it go and continue with your plan the next day. A bad week can happen too. Collect yourself and get back to it. My routine gets messed up during school breaks. I know it’s going to happen and I don’t worry about it. The important thing is I start back up where I left off.
- Find a buddy. Find a friend or two that will help you stay motivated and celebrate your successes. You don’t want someone who will make you feel guilty or that you will be stressed about talking to. Keep it positive. You could even start a new friendship.
At my last corporate job, we had an on-site gym that I used a few times a week. A coworker asked if I could grab her on my way down. We did completely different routines, but it helped her to have someone to walk down with. And she helped me on my low-motivation days. We often finished around the same time and would talk about what we accomplished on our walk back to our desks.
You could even start a new Instagram around your goal.
So, forget about resolutions. Instead, set a small, attainable goal and work toward completing it. Then set another. Enjoy each small success and be proud of what you accomplish. There is nothing wrong with resetting and starting again. You can do it. You ARE amazing!
Tell us how you succeed at your goals.