It's the first week of the working year for us, and while everyone in the office has colour in their face and a spring in their step; they're also armed with new resolutions, goals and motivation to succeed. Sound like your team too?
While this time of year is perfect for setting your annual intentions, it's also been proven that most resolutions don't last past February. So, how to make them stick?
Leave it to us! And no, we're not just going to regurgitate #smartgoals
This past week, we've read-over a tonne of blogs, scientific and newspaper articles from around the globe on the topic, and have accumulated our BEST 9 TIPS to share with you below:
1) Pick an area or theme you want to change the most.
Most people get ahead of themselves and want to change their world in one year - lose weight, get a new job, get a degree, new partner, have a baby, get a promotion... the list goes on. With your focus all over the place, you're bound to lose sight of what's MOST important, and eventually sabotage ALL of your goals because they become, well, unachievable. If you pick an area to focus on (like work for example), then you can set out mini goals that lead to a much LARGER end goal and set your eyes on ONE prize. Think about the goal you want to achieve the most, and focus your energy on that.
2) Round up your posse
When you've set the BIG goal, spread the news and share it out loud. This not only helps keep yourself accountable (since you now have an audience!), but also gives your friends, family, colleagues and support network an opportunity to help you reach it. They'll also be able to understand some of your quirky new habits, and anticipate times that might be particularly hard for you.
3) Plan ahead, and anticipate problems
If your goal is a new diet, to lose weight or get ultra fit; you can imagine times like Valentines day, Easter, birthdays, or other events will make it hard to stay on track right? But if your goals relate to work, the struggles might be a little harder to identify. Promotions or new roles for example, are dependent not only on your own dedication; but the economy, your piers, and the company you're actually working for. Fine tune the issues that may come up, and when you feel like you're getting knocked down; plan a strategy to deal with it head on.
4) Pick a start and end date
It's easy to assume you'll start working on your goals as soon as the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, but is that realistic? Work related goals are going to take a back seat while you're on holiday, and family goals might take second place if you're a bit of a workaholic. When you pick a start date, it gives you time to clarify exactly what you intend to achieve, and get your head in the right frame. Picking an end date additionally, is the fuel that allows you to set up the path to actually achieving them.
5) Set mini-goals
You saw this one coming right? Mini goals are a great way to break down the mountainous goal you have created into bite size chunks that seem all too easy! For example, if your goal is to run a marathon, you're not just going to turn up on the day and hope for the best right? You're going to prepare by setting accumulating distances week on week, beating your best times, and ensuring that you eat and recover right too. Figure out a list of mini goals you need to realise en route, and schedule them into your year as if they were uni deadlines - complete with reminders, post-it notes, and highlighted diary pages a la Kiki K
6) Plan your rewards
Rewards are great for when you achieve the little goals or milestones that bring you closer to the BIG goal at the end of the yellow brick road. Like, when you've aced a presentation you were nervous about, you kicked your KPI's out of the ball-park, or you lost more weight in the first month than you had planned to lose in two. However, you should also make sure that your treats aren't counter-productive to your success - that means no ice cream sundaes for the dieters, and no negative self-talk to those that are achieving goals at work!
You've got this, you've proved you have what it takes in your SMALL steps and you just need to keep on keeping on.
7) Use visual tools
A great way to remind yourself of your goals and lift motivation, is to SEE what your goals look like on a daily. To dream about them. To feel them becoming part of your not so distant future life. Creating a vision board is a great way to bring that reality into focus, and pasting it somewhere like your bedroom door, above your desk or perhaps as a screensaver on your phone is a beautiful reminder of where you're headed.
Other ideas are posting motivational quotes on your bathroom mirror (use a chalk pen to write them!), pinning photos of abs on the pantry door, or perhaps labeling your savings account with the vacation spot you've never been able to afford... until THIS YEAR! If you can visualise your goals, you can start anticipating how they will feel, and this brings you ONE STEP closer to seeing them floursh within your life.
8) Accept defeat, but NEVER give up
At some stage in your progress, you will encounter a plateau or hurdle that will cease your ability to succeed. It might make you want to throw in the towel thinking it's all too hard. If you take a moment to reflect on the success your life is up until this point though, history will demonstrate that YOU CAN succeed, and everything you have came with hard work, patience, and a constant stream of motivation. If you fall off the bandwagon, so what? Everyone has a bad day/week/month where emotions are out of whack and life just seems all to hard. Accept that you're in 'failure mode', then pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and prove you can have the world exactly as you want it.
9) Take action!
A goal without a plan, is just a dream right? RIGHT! If you have great intentions, but you don't know how to get there; just start. Start asking other people for advice that have done it before. Start reading books and blogs on your subject matter. Start working longer hours. Start getting up earlier. Start changing your mindset to one of gratitude for all you currently have, and allow success to flow into your life knowing that you are ready to receive it. If you can visualize your goal as if it's already achieved, you have a much better chance of keeping that motivation STRONG for the journey to actually get there. So stop reading this blog, get your head in the game and SET THOSE GOALS!
Whooa, that was a lot right? Given it's the first week back at work, we are focusing on re-grouping and setting the year off on the right foot. So, with the advice above, we encourage you to do the same.
Happy New Year from all of the team!
Wishes in wellness,
The Balance Team
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