We’re at the start of a new year! So how are your resolutions going? Maybe you’re one of the many people who finds their resolve flagging well before February. If this is the case, how can you get back on track?
Keeping a resolution means acknowledging that you’re human, and you’re going to experience setbacks. Genuine progress occurs when you dust yourself off after you fall, not from charting a smooth course. Adversity builds character, after all.
With that in mind, here are a few ways to overcome your block and rock your goals in 2020!
1. Set Reminders
It’s more challenging to slack on your to-do list if you have an annoying beep prodding you to take action. Fortunately, technology is your best friend when it comes to reaching your goals.
You can download a host of apps for both Android and iPhone to prompt you to meet your responsibilities to yourself. If you’re fortunate enough to have a supportive best friend or partner, you can look for them to help you, as well.
Establish a kind and respectful reminder phrase, such as, “How’s the keto diet going?” so they can check in with you without feeling like they’re nagging.
2. Vary Your Routine
Maybe you vowed to get fit in 2019, and you bought a treadmill. However, you soon discovered that logging your miles while staring at the wall left you feeling like a hamster on a wheel. If you want to elevate yourself to gym rat status in 2020, try switching up the scenery.
If you typically stick to machine-based workouts, try taking yours outdoors. You can use a bike for transportation as well as fitness. Use yours to commute to work or the store.
3. Overshoot Your Goals
What’s better than reaching your goals? Overshooting them. When you set unrealistic expectations for yourself, it can push you to go above and beyond what you’re normally capable of. For example, if you want to exercise and your workout of choice is swimming, train like a triathlete instead of an average swimmer.
This method is similar to the “Misogi” challenge, where you aim for something radical and try to accomplish it. You might not reach that particular goal, but you can feel confident you’ve passed other important milestones.
4. Chart It Out
When you create a goal chart, you can track your progress every step of the way. This process helps you keep lofty aspirations manageable. For example, you might feel overwhelmed by a goal of losing 50 pounds.
However, when you can see that each week brings you one week closer to the ultimate prize, you remind yourself that slow and steady wins the race.
5. Tell People
When you go public about your hopes, you inspire others to encourage you on your path. Go ahead and post your resolutions on social media. It demonstrates that you’re a positive person who’s interested in growth.
If you want to lose weight along with several co-workers, join the office fitness contest. The camaraderie you enjoy makes the process of working toward your goals invigorating, not chore-like.
6. Arm Yourself With Data
Perhaps you decided that you want to improve your sleep schedule in the new year. Maybe you planned to get on point with a paleo-vegetarian diet. Do you know what? There’s an app to help on your journey to a better you.
Don’t drive yourself crazy obsessing over the number on the scale, but do keep track of your measurements. The circumference of your waist tells you more about your overall fitness than your BMI, which can change with factors like increased muscle mass. If you’re trying to control your blood sugar or pressure, invest in testing strips or a personal sphygmomanometer to measure your vitals at home.
7. Make Each Step Specific
The best goals are SMART goals, meaning that they are, first of all, specific and measurable. Saying that you want to become a better runner leaves too much to chance. A better runner than whom? Be more purposeful!
For example, saying you want to run a 10K by March 1 enables you to chart out a workout plan to get you to that point.
8. Recruit a Partner
It’s way more fun doing anything from taking a hike to building a community garden when you’re with a friend. When you discuss your goals together, ask questions about things like roadblocks you’ve experienced in the past.
That way, you can brainstorm solutions for breaking through plateaus together.
9. Try the 10-Minute Rule
You will experience days when you throw up your hands and say, “I simply don’t have it today.” Hey, that’s okay! It’s called being human, and as long as you don’t let one slip become a pattern, you can try again tomorrow.
However, before you throw in the towel for the day, resolve to work on your goal for at least 10 minutes before stopping. Many people use this technique when they don’t want to exercise, but you can use it for diverse activities like finishing a novel.
When the timer sounds, ask yourself if you can continue. If not, forgive yourself and try again tomorrow. If so, reach for the sky!
10. Reward Yourself
Finally, the best way to keep yourself motivated is to promise yourself a reward for attaining your goal. If your budget allows, take a day off work and plan a mini-escape over a 3-day weekend.
If budget constraints render this impossible, treat yourself to a relaxing spa bath at home or another similar treat. Everyone deserves an attaboy (or girl) for a job done well.
Dylan Bartlett, aka, “The Regular Guide,” writes about the outdoors, survivalism and similar topics on his site. Check out Just a Regular Guide for more, or follow Dylan on Twitter @theregularguide for frequent updates!