Failing at your New Year's resolutions? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Bridget Jones, for one, can totally relate.
With the onset of January and rife with new expectations and new hopes for the brand new year, we make lofty resolutions that we are so sure we will commit to. That this time, it will be different. Let's also admit, that these are probably incomplete resolutions that have been carried forward from the previous year. The same ones we’ve been trying to fulfill for eons now.
Things like hitting the gym and losing some extra pounds, investing and saving for a change, and other such goals that align with your self - improvement for the new year. And then, almost invariably, we fail. Research says that only 10 to 12% of us will ever taste victory in fulfilling their resolutions, and that too not all of the resolutions they make for themselves.
Sounds bad? It is.
The real challenge is to make them work.
The road to success is actually, pretty, straight-forward in this case.
1. Reflect on the previous year before you plan
Don't jump on the bandwagon because the whole world is jumping on board. See how far you've worked on following a good daily routine. Begin there. Set small, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely goals with periodic reflection along the way.
2. Pace yourself for a Marathon and not a 100 m sprint
Slow and steady wins the race. That old tale still holds true. One can't have it all and in one go. "I'm going to run 10kms every single day." After a few days, that resolve fizzes out so does the energy to run even a single mile after a hard day's work. "I'll walk more." Sounds better? Simpler? Achievable? Yes, to all. The key here is to be easy on yourself, and try every single day.
3. Set motivation loops
Take the horse to the pond and make it drink too. How? Motivation. Yes. Motivation isn't a magic fairy that visits on Jan 1 and disappears in Feb, only making fleeting visits in between. Motivate your mind enough, because that's where the seat of all trouble lies. Listen to music that inspires you, and podcasts that educate you. Align your content consumption around the goals you have set for yourself such that they act as triggers for you to strive continually.
4. Evaluate your progress
Revise. Criticize. Be much like an artist with his painting. Step back sometimes and run a critical eye on the creation (progress, in this case) so far before it reaches its conclusion. Step out of the comfort zone. Make progress, not excuses.
5. Appreciate yourself and celebrate small milestones
And last, well this one should never be the least or even placed at the bottom, is to subtract not to add. Don't add to the stress of following your resolve. Enjoy the daily milestones you cover. Let that be your motivation.
After all, our heroine, Bridget Jones, may be doing everything routine, but she does achieve so much more in the process, while also bagging the man of her dreams. May your resolutions, too, succeed beyond your wildest dreams!