Are you beating yourself up over failing to stick to the resolutions that you set yourself this year? We’ve compiled a list of steps to help you get back on track.
1. Only focus on changing one behaviour at a time
Fixing an unhealthy habit isn’t going to happen over the span of a week, because it likely took longer than that to develop. If you direct your energies towards a single goal, you’re more likely to succeed, because you don’t have to worry about multiple things at once.
2. Make it a daily habit.
Schedule the steps that you’ll take towards you resolution on a weekly basis and reflect on your progress at the end of the week. This is important so that you can track your behaviour, as well as your improvement over time.
3. Connect it to an existing habit.
By connecting your steps towards something you already do, you’re establishing the habit as a routine. If you’re planning to get fit, why not do a few push ups right before you take your morning coffee? You’ll slowly begin to associate the practices and you won’t make excuses for not doing something about your goal.
4. Start small.
If your goal is to lose a few extra pounds, you’re not going to be able to put yourself through a professional athlete’s recommended exercise routine on your first go. Instead, break things down into bite sized, achievable targets. You’ll be able to track your progress better, and feel validated about what you’re doing more often too.
5. Make a realistic end goal.
Just because you watched The Biggest Loser and saw the participants lose upwards of 20 lbs a week doesn’t mean that you should strive for the same numbers. Everyone’s body is different, and stressing your body out too is just going to make it more likely that you fall back into old habits after you reach your goal.
6. Don’t forget to add checkpoints.
Add major progress checkpoints every quarter, so that you also get a look at the bigger picture of your quest to better yourself.
7. Talk about it to someone.
Finding a partner to hold you accountable is also extremely important – not only are you getting support, but you’re also taking the idea out of your own head and into the world. You’re more likely to achieve your goals if you have someone else pushing you to do so.
8. There’s an app for it.
We like using Habitica. This app gamifies habit forming, and allows you to share your achievements with a group of friends (and vice versa.)
9. Write down your intentions.
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What’s the real reason behind your desire to change for the better? Remember that as long as you’re satisfying that, you’re golden. You don’t necessarily need to plop down hard numbers to stick by.
10. Add incentives.
If the rewards on Habitica aren’t enough, you could set out a rewards plan for yourself by putting money aside towards something you’d enjoy. If you reach your goals, maybe you should treat yourself for a good night out on the town, or on a mini holiday.
11. Also add punishments.
Of course, some of us work better with negative conditioning. Implement penalties for yourself if you fail to progress towards your targets weekly, or if you completely skipped out on what you were supposed to do more than a set amount of times.
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