By Olivia Walford, Administrator at The Eaves.
Many of us are guilty of making over-ambitious and unachievable resolutions on 31st December, only to backtrack as soon as the New Year begins. In fact, of those that make New Year’s resolutions, around 75% fail to complete all of their goals by the time January rolls around again. Here are some tips to help you break the cycle and stick to your resolutions for 2022.
Choose specific targets
Setting aims like ‘run more’ or ‘save for a holiday’ is a step in the right direction, but it’s easy to lose focus when your New Year’s resolutions are so broad. Instead, try setting goals using the SMART method:
S – Specific. Think about what you really want to achieve. Narrow down your goal to a single point. This could be ‘run 10 kilometres in one go’ or ‘try a new recipe once a week’.
M – Measurable. How can you measure your progress towards your goal? Keeping a diary or a note on your phone can help you track your success and keep you motivated.
A – Achievable. Make sure that the goal is possible for you to accomplish. If it’s over-ambitious, you run the risk of feeling too far away from your end-point and just giving up.
R – Realistic. Does your goal reflect you and the progress that you want to make? Spend some time thinking about where you would like to be in a year’s time and how the goals that you’re setting now can help you to achieve that.
T – Time-based. Set a date that you would like to have accomplished your resolution, or a frequency. For example, ‘save for a holiday by June‘ or ‘take half an hour outside every day‘.
The SMART format is a good rule of thumb for making resolutions that you can actually stick to!
Don’t set too many resolutions
Fewer goals mean that you can really focus on those that will make the biggest difference in your life. Try sticking to just one or two for each area in your life: your emotional wellbeing, your physical wellbeing, your finances and your career.
Hold yourself accountable
Any good resolution should be challenging, so make sure that there is someone checking in on you – even if that person is yourself. You could share your goals on social media, write them down in a diary or tell a friend. The important thing is that there is some record of what you want to achieve. For resolutions to do with exercise, researchers at the University of Aberdeen have found that having a workout buddy increases the number of sessions you complete.
Break down big goals into multiple smaller ones
There’s no problem with setting ambitious goals, but you might need to break them down into smaller, more manageable targets to keep on track. Jamie Gruman, psychologist and author of Boost: The Science of Recharging Yourself in an Age of Unrelenting Demands says: “Establishing sub-goals will make you feel more confident and on track because you’re genuinely making progress, and you can track that progress.” Try breaking down a big goal into smaller tasks for each month and ticking them off as you go. Don’t forget to celebrate every achievement in some way to keep your motivation high!
Build a support network
Making progress towards a goal can be made much easier by the people that you have around you. Friends and family can be great to turn to when you’re looking to celebrate or to help you if you hit a wall, but you might also want to talk to a professional for advice. For resolutions relating to your professional life, a career coach might help you focus your efforts in the most productive way. You may consider going to a counsellor to work towards more personal goals. If you do choose to talk to someone, a professional can provide a valuable outside perspective to help you continue to move towards your goals or get back on track if you’ve strayed.
At The Eaves, we have practitioners who can help you achieve your goals in 2022. Our professionals see individuals of all ages, families, couples and young people 12 hours a day Monday to Saturday 9am to 9pm. Please call 01483 917000 to speak to a member of the referrals team. You can also send us an enquiry via our website.