We are officially one full week into the new year and our new year’s resolutions. At this point, we are typically still pretty stoked about the goals we set for ourselves. We are waking up earlier, getting the workouts in, eating right, and are still strong in our attempts to keep January “dry”.
All is still well in the pursuit of our goals, as it should be… one week in.
The question is, how do we stick to these goals? What can we do to ensure that we are still going strong in week 40 or even just week 5?
Setting goals is easy. It’s fun to dream up this life you want to live, or a goal you want to achieve that sets your soul on fire. It’s the follow-through that is the tough part.
Following through on our goals and being consistent is the hard part. Yet, that is the key to finally achieving those goals. The “follow-through” is what keeps us forging ahead well past week 5 to week 45.
So the question is, how? How can you make sure you follow through on the goals that you set for yourself? I am going to tell you exactly how. 😉
1.Don’t be extreme. I read this quote on Pinterest that said, “You don’t have to EXTREME, you just have to be consistent”, and I thought that explained it perfectly and simply.
Many times when we go into our New Years’ goals we start strong, but we start extreme. If getting in shape was your goal it might sound like, “I am going to work out hard every day, for an hour a day. Not eat any sweets, drink alcohol, or have fun. And I’m going to wake up at 5am to do it.”
Does that sound like something that you want to do for 52 weeks of the year? My guess is no…
Instead of going extreme, think small and consistent. What are small attainable goals that you can achieve every day, but will nudge you closer to your goal?
Instead of waking up at 5 am, maybe wake up 30 minutes earlier than you usually do, and do a quick 30-minute online workout to get you started. Then instead of cutting out all bad foods entirely, just commit to eating vegetables at every meal and cutting back on your intake of sweets or alcohol. Those are versions of the same goal, getting healthier, but they are far less extreme and easier to commit to.
2. Establish habits and routines around those goals. Once we choose our small attainable goals, we can start thinking of how to make those small goals into habits. Or what habits can we build around those goals?
Habits, my friends, are the secret to finding consistency. Once we create a habit it no longer becomes something we have to force ourselves or remind ourselves to do, but it’s just something that we do. It becomes second nature, a part of our routine, and without even meaning to we always get it done. Just like you have a routine before you go to bed at night, you can create routines or habits around your goals.
These small habits you create and consistently follow through with WILL add up, leading you to big results.
For example, if your goal is to get a workout in, what habits can you create in your life that ensure you get in a daily workout? For me, the only way I know I am guaranteed to get a workout in is in the morning. To make it easier for me, one of my habits is to lay out my workout clothes, water, and protein ball the night before. If those are laid out and ready, I am more likely to get up and get after my morning workout.
Or maybe you just want to be more productive at work. Some habits could be: getting to your desk 15-30 minutes earlier, writing out your plan for the Tuesday before you leave Monday night, give yourself 3 small tasks to accomplish each day at the beginning of the day. These are all small habits that will ensure you are more productive at work.
When setting a new goal or a new year’s resolution, it’s easy to get carried away and impatient, wanting to do everything we can right now to get it done as fast as humanly possible. But there is no such thing as a “quick fix”. Like everything in life, it takes time, dedication, and consistency to get there.
All you have to do is figure out what your “follow through” looks like. Look at your big goal, and then break that down into smaller chunks of a goal, then break that down even further to small attainable goals you know you can consistently commit to. Create habits around those small goals to ensure that you get them done, and you are golden.
Follow these steps and you WILL find your follow-through for 2021. I promise you that. 🙂