Updated: Jan 3
by Katrin Sturm
December is full of reflections and January is full of resolutions. Come February, most of us are already back to our normal routine and old habits. Sounds familiar?
Why are most of our new years resolutions not successful? As we simply struggle to stick to them.
Here are 5 tips on how to make your new years resolutions sustainable this year.
(picutre by gettyimages)
1) Focus on the long term. Setting goals is crucial and are also a secret to successful people. Think about what you would like to achieve in life or your career in the long run. Break these long term goals down into medium goals and then into goals for 2020.
Thus, you also avoid to set extreme goals. Going from one habitual extreme to another like "I will never drink alcohol again" compared to up to 5 times a week so far might be typical for a new years resolution, but already sets the goal up for failure.
2) Make them realistic. You might have heard about SMART goals already. Goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
Make sure your goal is a new habit that fit into your daily life. Instead of "I'm going to the gym every day now" think about how you can slowly integrate this new or continuous practice into your existing daily routine.
Would once or twice a week and sticking to it (e.g. every Sunday afternoon for 60 minutes) throughout the year already be enough maybe?
3) Be patient. Science suggests it takes 21 days for new habits to form. Only then new and easy habits like drinking a glass of water every day after breakfast will stick.
Make sure you recognise small results already. How will you reward yourself after sticking to your goal for the first couple of days or weeks? It could be a simple and small treat without costing any (or much) money or time in order to keep you going.
4) Focus on the positive. It is psychologically proven that we naturally tend to focus on the negative sides of things. Don't be too hard on yourself, focus on what has worked instead of what has not.
Don't beat yourself up for eating that one chocolate bar - reward yourself for not having had one for the last 2 weeks.
Recognise your successes by allowing yourself some room for "failure" (nobody is perfect). Look back at how far you have come already instead of looking at what still lies ahead of you.
5) Hold yourself accountable. This is one of the most important differentiators on how to make resolutions stick and achieve any goals.
Ask yourself on how you will know that you are going off track with your goal? What will you do if you notice that you do so? What support system do you have available to support you in that process?
Share your plans and goals with friends, family members or a partner that you trust, will support you with your goals and can positively challenge you, if needed.
A coach can be also be an effective partner in crime to make your resolutions stick by setting SMART goals together, reality checking them and holding yourself accountable along the way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Katrin Sturm is the founder of The Best Possible You that focuses on personal, career and business growth.
Katrin is a renowned coach for individuals and corporates specialising in sales and leadership as well as career and personal development. She also advises start-ups to scale-ups.
As a retreat leader, Katrin host Digital Detox Retreats with yoga, nature walks & hiking and mind coaching.