It seems like every January we set high expectations for our year. We list, talk about and even start on what we like to call resolutions. But by February 1st, we always resort right back to our ways of the old year.
Starting the year off with an ambitious spirit always feels like the right and only way to do it, but once we settle into our schedules, it’s almost inevitable to forget where we started. One of the first problems we face with our new year goals is that we overbook ourselves.
Nottingham Trent University Professor of Behavioural Addiction Mark Griffiths researched how easy it is for people to fall and stay into bad habits in the Psychology of New Year’s Resolutions.
“Resolutions usually come in the form of lifestyle changes and changing behaviour that has become routine and habitual (even if they are not problematic) can be hard to do,” Griffiths said.
We often create long lists of things we want to do, and a lot of times, each resolution could take a year itself to accomplish.
- Start small.
Instead of listing everything you want to accomplish in 2017, make realistic monthly goals. At the beginning of each month, write down a few things you want to get done. Set out some time each week to work on these things. I make a to-do list every morning, and the satisfaction of being able to cross those things off my list alone drives me to get them done. By minimizing your to-do list and the time you have to do it, you’re more inclined to focus on each individual task.
- Keep yourself reminded.
Write your goals down and place them where they’re visible to you every morning. Writing anything down.This could be written on your calendar, sticky notes on your mirror or even reminders put into your phone. Create a routine for each week or month that could help you effectively accomplish your goals. Making a schedule or setting aside time each can allow you to take on tasks that may not have been apart of your routine, and eventually grow to love them. This can help you to be more consistent.
- Don’t just focus on resolutions.
Try to focus on letting go of old and bad habits. Before we can truly transform and better ourselves, it’s important that we let go of the old habits that kept us from progressing. Don’t try to do or start something new before you stop the thing that kept you from being where you wanted to be in the first place.
Take this year one day at a time. Focus on the day ahead of you, and give yourself a chance to gain and progress. Trust in your process. Happy Your Year!