The beginning of a new year seems like the opportunity for a fresh start, many of us set new goals and sometimes they fall by the wayside. Maybe some of them are last years resolutions that we didn’t quite achieve. If that’s the case it doesn’t matter, yesterday is the past, you can’t change that, but what you can do is lay down some realistic goals, ones that you can actually achieve. A new year is a blank slate, a reset button to start over again and get things right.
Why are they so hard to keep?
When you set a resolution and begin to follow through on it, you trigger a very powerful “neuro-hormone” in the brain called dopamine. Dopamine helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers and regulates emotional responses. Though dopamine levels are high as you set out to accomplish your resolution, they eventually drop. So you must have a plan in place to keep you motivated and on track, otherwise enthusiasm will trail off and you will fail.
Look for support from others
Your family and friends can be a great support network. Maybe ask for support from someone who has already achieved a similar goal. Let them know what you want to achieve and if need be ask them to cheer you on. Touch base with them regularly. Always set achievable goals, short term ones are as important as long term and put a reward system in place as that will help to keep you on track. Remember not to be too hard on yourself, nobody is perfect.
Important – write down your goals.
Writing down your goals creates the roadmap to your success. Although just the act of writing them down can set the process in motion, it is also extremely important to review your goals frequently. Remember, the more focused you are on your goals the more likely you are to accomplish them. When setting a goal you need to be specific on what you want to achieve, and monitor your success, it’s just as important to see how far you have come.
For example, if you really want to lose some weight, write down your start weight, also write down your ideal goal weight and set a target date that you’ll achieve it. Every week take a waist measurement as this is also a good indicator of weight loss. Jump on the scales first thing in the morning, write down on a chart your weekly losses, and pin it up somewhere where you will see it every day. You may find it more beneficial to measure your actions rather than your progress. For example, the number of times you’ve exercised in a week. Perhaps keep a food diary and track your calories.
Keep it simple
Last of all, keep it simple. Start with one goal, setting too many can be overwhelming, better to set your sights on one thing that’s achievable rather than trying to change your whole life! Believe in yourself and make 2019 the year you achieved your goal.