Alright, we’re one week into January. Hopefully your goal of surviving the year is going well so far.
Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? I know I made a few as well. A little under half of Americans usually make goals for themselves this time of year in categories like self-improvement, health and fitness, financial success and romance. How many people feel like they’re successful at keeping them?
Ouch. Some make the mistake of picking unrealistic or hard-to-measure goals, but others really struggle with finding the motivation to start a new habit or keep the momentum going. If you’ve found yourself in that boat, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to make sticking to your plans a little bit easier.
1. Un-Pack Your Calendar
I am insanely guilty of this one! When I’m bored at lunch or on the train I often pull open the calendar app on my phone and go to town scheduling events.
It feels productive! And fun!
And then later, when I’m wondering why I’m eating dinner on the run every day that week, I start kicking myself for ruining every other resolution I had this year.
Budget? Who needs a budget when I have all these places to be and people to see!
Healthy lifestyle? But the McDonald’s is close and I have to meet my friend for a movie soon!
Sleep? I wanted to see my friends more and they live clear across town!
Be realistic with yourself and plan that downtime. Say no to some events and build a little wiggle room into your schedule to make time for what matters to you. You will absolutely thank yourself later when your Google calendar doesn’t look like a smorgasbord of psychedelic art.
And on that note…
2. De-App Your Phone
Did you download 3 different meditation apps this week? Or maybe you’re drowning in photo editing ones to help you achieve that effortless Instagram glow. If you feel like you’re getting pulled in a million directions when look at your screen, do yourself a favor and ditch some of those pesky, guilt-inducing icons.
If you’re feeling really brave, remove one that you use but you know is a time suck. It pained me just a little, but I axed some games that really didn’t contribute to my overall goal of reducing distractions.
3. No More Waiting
Okay, I wish this one meant that we wouldn’t ever get stuck waiting for the train, or the perpetually late doctor, or the spouse who can never seem to make it out the door on time. Some things are out of your control.
What I do mean is that you should cut out any lag time between when you have the impulse to do something and when you take the action to do it. How many times do you think about a chore you need to do, say picking up the dirty laundry or tossing the junk mail, before you actually do it? Each time you remember, you’re wasting precious brain space on the same uncompleted task.
If you can, do the chore. If you can’t, set a specific alarm for later and then quit thinking about it.
4. Ask For What You Want
Look, you’re the best person to judge your own situation. It’s not always prudent to go storming into your boss’s office to ask for a raise, or ask your partner to work on an irritating habit.
It’s probably easier than you fear. And you almost certainly are worth more than you think. Most importantly though, the downsides of simply asking for what you want are just so few and far-between.
5. Re-evaluate Regularly
If I had to stick religiously to plans Past Me made months ago, I’d be downright miserable. I certainly hope that your life is evolving and changing at least a bit as you move forward into the year! If you’re making some big goals and lifestyle shifts, it certainly should.
Adjust and figure out what part of your plan is working toward vs against your goals in the long run. Evolve to fit the situations, and you’ll come out the other end a badass butterfly.
Most of these tips to help you stick to your goals involve being honest with yourself about where you’re at right now. Once you can do that, making habits and finding the right kind of motivation becomes second nature. Are you struggling to keep to any of your goals right now?