The clock will strike midnight tonight and all your failures from 2014 will be washed away.
Or something like that.
But even if that’s not true, we’re pretty sure you’re going to wake up tomorrow morning with renewed vows to lose 10 lbs., eat cleaner, quit smoking, get organized, and basically have the best year you’ve ever managed to put together.
Well, rather than let 2015 be a(nother) failure, let us help you make a plan that will keep you on track to crossing all your goals and resolutions off your list by 2016.
Here are some useful tips to help you keep on track with all the promises you’re making to yourself:
SET GOALS, NOT RESOLUTIONS
Resolving to do something automatically makes it a negative. Rather than framing your wants for 2015 as resolutions, which have an incredibly high failure rate, frame them as goals. When you think of something as a goal it becomes a positive, and something you want to achieve rather than feel obligated to do. Yes, it’s really just semantics – but words can be powerful.
MAKE THEM MEASURABLE
The easiest way to fail is by making your goal too broad. Just saying you want to lose weight is so generic that you’re likely never going to do it. The more specific you get, the more you can cross off your list daily and weekly so you feel the progress and change happening.
Rather than simply wanting to lose weight, a better goal is to aim to lose 10 pounds by April, by doing cardio 3x a week and yoga 2x a week and cooking your own healthy meals for the week. Get specific, people.
GET THE APP
There are tons of apps to motivate you and help you keep track of your goals on a daily basis. Traneo, My Fitness Pal, and LogYourRun are all great for health resolutions. Mint and Flexscore are great for financial resolutions. While StickK, Coolendar, HassleMe, and Quizlet will all help with lifestyle goals.
DON’T MAKE TOO MANY
A big reason for failure is setting too many goals. A long list of things you want to do will inhibit you from being able to focus on any one that you want to accomplish, and that sense of being overwhelmed won’t help either. We are fond of setting three big goals: one health goal, one financial goal, and one creative goal. If you stick to just three, you won’t feel stressed about all the things you want to achieve.
But if you’re into smaller goals, try setting one specific and doable goal per month. Each month, focus on being able to cross that goal off the list by the end of the 30 days. It’ll motivate you to keep up with it, and it’ll give you something new to try each month.
WRITE THEM WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM
There’s truly no point in making a resolution if you’re just going to say it out loud at midnight and forget about it.
The most important thing you can do to actually achieve the goal is to write it out somewhere where you will always see it.
Every. Single. Day.
If you wake up and see a sign that says ‘get moving’, you’ll be more likely to get on that treadmill. If you open your computer and see a list of your goals, you’re going to have that reminder at the start of your day that will help you move through the next 24 hours in a way that aligns with your goals.
TELL PEOPLE ABOUT IT
The more people you tell, the more people there will be to support you through your goal, and urge you not to break it. Having your peer group and family aware of your goals means they’ll be less likely to sabotage you with offers of late night bar hopping, and more likely to join you on your next run.
When people expect something of us, we’re more likely to actually do it.
GET A BUDDY
We all know that the best way to lose weight is by having someone else to work out with. It goes back to that whole being accountable thing. If you don’t want to get up early for that run today, you probably won’t, but if you have a friend you know will be waiting for you there’s a much stronger chance you will.
We’re social creatures and we don’t like to disappoint. This goes for any bad habit you want to break. It’s easier with a friend supporting you through the rough moments.