HOW TO MAKE RESOLUTIONS THAT ARE SUSTAINABLE
So, we've kicked off another year and for many, this is the perfect time to set some goals, break some bad habits and use this beginning as an opportunity for a fresh start. As one year has ended and a new one begins, people often get this sense of newfound inspiration and motivation to pursue lifelong dreams and reinvent themselves—but how long does it really last?
If you’re anything like us at Happy Way HQ, you’ve probably made a list of goals and intentions for 2022 and have a loose plan on how you’re going to reach them. And whilst some may seem more achievable than others, many of us will lose that drive and persistence before the year is out, with very few of our resolutions coming to fruition.
Well, your Happy Way fam is here to help! Not only is 2022 the start of a fresh year but with our tips, this is the year that you’re gonna smash your goals and create a NEW YOU! It’s time to stop staring at these dreams on a piece of paper and actually take action to make them happen. Are you ready?? You got this.
SET REALISTIC GOALS, BUT GOALS YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT
Have you heard of SMART goals? SMART stands for SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, REALISTIC and TIMELY. The SMART goals strategy is often used when setting both personal and business related goals as it breaks down and simplifies the process, making your goals and resolutions much more achievable.
Be as specific as you can with your goal. When you are broad or vague with the detail it can lose its power. For example, instead of saying, ‘I want to get fit in 2022’’, try a more focused approach which could be something like, ‘I want to exercise at the gym 3 times a week and go for 2 x 60 minute walks a week.
Can you track your progress and the outcome of the goal? When you can monitor your progression, it often motivates you to keep going. Use a diary or journal to jot down your activity each day and see how that increases over time.
Is the goal realistic? Whilst it’s great to dream big and aim for the stars, don’t set a goal that is unreasonable. Don’t set a goal to walk on the moon if you won’t even fly in an aeroplane!
Choose goals that align with your values and passions. When your goal actually matters to you, it will be more likely that you will take the necessary steps to achieve it. So, if you haven’t picked up a book in your adult life, don’t make a resolution to read a book each month of the year—stick to what you love and enjoy!
Set yourself a time frame in which to reach your goals. You don’t want to get to the start of 2023 and be setting the same goals, year after year. This will also create a sense of urgency and when you tick them off it will be so much more rewarding!
ASK YOURSELF 'WHY?'
Don’t just set goals for the sake of setting goals—it’s important to know your “why” and ask yourself what you’re passionate about. When you have a clear understanding of what the purpose is for your goal and what feeling you’re chasing, you should base your goals around these things, which will help keep you motivated to persevere throughout the year.
BREAK IT DOWN AND HAVE A PLAN
When writing down your resolutions, it’s important to break them down into smaller, achievable steps, which will make the task of pursuing them much less overwhelming. If it’s a long term goal over several months, break it down into weekly goals, and then even into daily habits that you can do to help get you there. When you achieve these smaller, broken down steps, it can motivate you to keep reaching for what you’re really after.
As life coach Tony Robbins says, ‘It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.’ Smart man. When you are consistent in changing your habits, it builds natural momentum and instils permanent change. If you want to start your days off with a meditation session, but you often hit the snooze button on your 5am alarm, you’re not likely to achieve your goal of daily meditation any time soon. However, if you were to meditate consistently over a 5 day period, you will likely see and feel the benefits and therefore make this a consistent part of your morning routine.
HAVE A SUPPORT NETWORK
Sharing your goals out loud, even just with one person that you trust, can not only make it more real and attainable, but it allows you to get support and encouragement along the way. Sometimes having someone who believes in you and motivates you to be your best self, is all you need to keep going when times get tough. These people can also hold you accountable and check-in with you regularly to see how you’re progressing.
DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP IF YOU SLIP UP
If you stumble along the way, just trust that it’s part of the journey and don’t let it derail you from the end result. If everyone could easily reach their goals and fulfil their dreams, then we would all be travelling the world, earning millions and living our best lives with little to no effort—but how rewarding would that be really? When you hit a rough patch, it’s so important to not give up, but to be kind to yourself and to keep on going, focusing on the end game. Michael Jordan didn’t achieve all that he did with little effort, or just with pure talent—he reached great success with a lot of hard work, determination and perseverance, and he kept on going, even in the face of adversity.
CHECK-IN & CELEBRATE ALONG THE WAY
Check-in with yourself regularly to see how you are progressing and to determine what’s working, what’s not and what you can possibly change to improve the process. Having little mini goals or rewards along the way is a great way to celebrate how far you’ve come and all the hard work you’re putting in. For example, if you’ve consistently exercised 5 days a week for a month, you might want to treat yourself with a new book or a body massage to unwind. It’s a great idea to have an end reward too and set these at the beginning. It not only gives you something additional to work towards, but each time you hit a milestone along the way, you can celebrate with a little gift for yourself!
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF & ENJOY THE JOURNEY
Whilst achieving goals can be tough at times, the journey to get there should be fun and engaging. When taking the first steps to achieve your goals, and to make lasting change, it is absolutely vital that you believe in yourself wholeheartedly! Negative self-talk has never helped anyone, but along with keeping positive thoughts, it’s also important that you can feel within yourself what it will be like to achieve each goal, that you take action to make it happen and then have faith in yourself that you can do it. When all of these work together, you can achieve anything!