Recently I was scrolling through Instagram and I saw one of my favorite Instagrammers, Golden Aimee, post one of the funniest captions to her pictures: “May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolution”.
Obviously I chuckled! None of us want our troubles to last long, and more often than not our New Year’s resolutions don’t make it past January. In fact, a study conducted by Strava indicates that January 12th is the day that most people give up! But did you know it also only takes 66 days for a new habit to become automatic?
66 days! That’s a little more two months! Are you prepared to put in the work?
If you are, then let’s begin! Not only will it take a short amount of time, but I have a simple guide for you to follow to make sure you can start 2020 strong and end it even stronger.
I will go over some of the most popular resolutions people make and how you can go about them in a way that will surely lead to success, but before I do, let’s talk about some of the biggest mistakes people make when making their New Year’s resolutions.
The first big mistake people make is that they dream WAY too big and have the deadline be “the end of 2020”. Although it’s great to have one big goal to achieve, what’s even more fulfilling is actually achieving milestones along the way. Not only is this a great way to get started, but it is something that you can change and increase/decrease throughout your journey so that you are always working towards a doable goal. Not to mention, since people make their deadline for the end of the year instead of making milestones, it’s easier for them to give the excuse “oh I still have a few more months, I can put it off for tomorrow.” This is what we are trying to avoid!
The second big mistake is that people are determined to start or quit something RIGHT AWAY. For example, if you are trying to start working out, then you’re thinking that you need to be at the gym every day, right? Or if you’re trying to quit smoking, then you’re thinking that you need to quit cold turkey, right? Both of those are dead WRONG. Going to the gym every day is only going to make you super sore, then you’ll have to take a week off for recovery, then by the time you are able to start again you are going to feel so unmotivated because of the pain you felt that you will never go to the gym again. It’s the same with smoking – if you try to quit by jumping off of the ladder completely instead of taking one step down at a time, you will find the detox to be so harsh, so uncomfortable, and guess what? You’ll be back at it in a week or two. This all goes back to trying to achieve milestones as opposed to making one big goal!
Lastly, the other big mistake people fall into is actually trying to do too many things. Your life can only balance so many things so why are you trying to be better at all these new things that you promised yourself on top of trying to maintain your normal home and work life?
By knowing these common mistakes, now you are even more prepared to start!
This is the most common resolution! Gyms see a spike in membership and attendance in January only to see it come back to normal by February. So what you need to do to stay on top of it is simply by making small, achievable goals. Once you complete that first goal, increase your goal a little bit! If you want to run a marathon by December 2020, then start by making the goal to run 15 minutes at a time. Once you can do that, then maybe change the goal to being able to run a mile in 10 minutes! It’s all about making small, achievable goals. That will keep you motivated to keep coming to the gym and accomplish your resolution!
Quitting (insert thing here)
Whether it’s smoking, biting your nails, drinking too much coffee, etc, these are all attainable through milestones. Start with a baby step! If you know you drink 5 cups of coffee in a day, then you’ll want to cut it back to 4 cups a day, but maybe have a cheat day of 5 cups a day once a week. Sooner or later, you’ll find that it will be habit to only have 4 cups a day. Once that habit has formed, then move down the ladder inch by inch. Success is measured through progress! And the more you can progress, the better your chances are of achieving your overall goal.
Saving/Making More Money
This one is a tad harder since the act of saving is not immune to emergencies or random expenses like your car breaking down. It can be hard to save money in these circumstance because you may even have to take out money from your savings to pay for these things. And that’s ok! This resolution shouldn’t be about a certain amount – it should be about the act itself! If you can put ANY amount of money away per month, that’s a win! In terms of making more money, this is going to require you to continually work harder at your job. Put in those hours, get more one-on-one time with your boss, prove that you are an asset to the business you are in! Maybe your success will be measured in getting more hours at work. I mean, it’s not a pay raise per se, but you are getting more time at work and that’s still technically making more money.
Overall, you need to remember that it’s the small wins that account for your success. New Year’s resolutions are hard. If they were easy then it wouldn’t be something we, as a society, put such an emphasis on.
My goals for 2020 are to save and make more money, work with more companies (any number would suffice!), and to lower my debt. I am telling you this because by sharing my resolutions, I will feel more inclined to work harder at them!
To make sure I can accomplish these goals, I will:
- Put in $100 per month for savings
- Email at least three new companies a month
- Keep to my current schedule to pay off my credit cards until such a time as I can afford to pay off more
I don’t want to box myself in too much with these goals. If I can save any amount per month that would be a win, and even just paying off the minimum on my credit cards still qualifies as lowering my debt. These milestones are small but they are notable to me because they are still accomplishing my resolution to myself.
Only you can hold yourself accountable for your resolutions. Keep yourself to it and don’t cave under the pressure! Make 2020 your year to make changes in your life!