2016 Will be Your Year: 5 KEY New Year Goal Resolutions Tips for Success
The new year is just a few days away and millions of people will soon be setting ambitious goals for self-improvement. While some will reach their goals, others will unfortunately lose their motivation and eventually go back to their old ways. Failing at new year resolutions doesn’t have to happen though, and there are a few very important mental toughness tips to consider when preparing to make big changes for 2016:
- Attach your goals to important personal values. Rather than simply saying “I want to get in better shape in the new year,” try to delve deeper into why improving your health is so important? For example, losing 20lbs by the start of spring might lead to better heart health, which in turn leads to a better attitude and likely longer life expectancy. By living longer, you get to spend more time with loved ones, see more of the world, and try new things, too. The point is to try and become as intrinsically motivated as you can so that your efforts have more meaning — especially on those tough days where it will be easy to throw in the towel.
- Make your goals specific, measurable, and controllable. Rather than relying on luck or the help of others, create goals that are specific (i.e. train for a marathon), measurable (i.e. identify the number of miles to run each week), and controllable (your efforts running are entirely up to you). Steer clear of vague goals that are difficult to measure (i.e. to get in better shape) and/or uncontrollable (i.e. to grow 6 inches in the new year).
- Be realistic – and patient. The best goals are the ones that are not too easy, nor too difficult. When setting goals, try to make them challenging so that they keep your interest, and be sure to exercise patience as it is unlikely the goals you set (if they are challenging) will be reached in the first week of the new year.
- Monitor your progress. Goals are more likely to be attained if you hold yourself accountable, and the best way to do this is to document your progress on a daily basis. For example, if you are trying to lose weight make sure to weigh in daily so that you can see if your exercise and diet changes are actually leading to weight loss.
- Expect it to be a challenging process! Reaching new goals is tough stuff, so be sure to adequately prepare yourself before getting started. Expect stress, frustration, adversity, and failure and by readying yourself for these conditions (which are likely to occur), your resiliency will be more galvanized, giving you the best possible odds to attain your goals for the new year. Change is often not easy, but changes are possible, but the first step is preparing for the challenges that lie ahead.
For more help on goal setting check out the Mental Toughness Guide to Athletic Success.