10 ways to nail your resolutions

20 April 2017 by
First published: 12 January 2017

Feel like your January motivation is waning? Find motivation in these top 10 ways to nail your resolutions

Never is there a more short-lived promise than the ‘new year, new you’ mantra. Of course we start off with good intentions, assuring ourselves that this is the year we do X and Y and stick to it. But, come week two, we’ve either lost interest, run out of motivation or have come to the conclusion that 10 days’ worth is simply quite enough. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Your goals for 2017 needn’t fall by the wayside – with a little motivation, organisation and inspiration you can nail your resolutions far beyond January.

Be realistic
The first question you need to ask yourself is if your goals are realistic. If they aren’t, not only are you not going to achieve them, but you’ll feel like a failure in the process. Sure, telling people that your New Year’s resolution is to run a marathon next month sounds impressive, but being a beginner runner with no marathon experience, it’s probably (read: definitely) not going to happen. Resolving to run a marathon by the summer, however, is a much more likely goal. Set a resolution that is as challenging as it is achievable – and be honest with yourself.

Make small changes
In the same way we feel overwhelmed when our to-do list is spilling onto multiple pages, setting yourself a challenge too big or too vague is only going to end in failure. Rather than deciding to simply lose weight, break it up into smaller, clearer mini goals, such as go to the gym three times a week, run every Sunday morning. Not only are they easier to accomplish, specific mini goals will enable you to see your progress more clearly and keep you on track.

Know your why
Setting goals blindly is a sure way to fail. If you don’t know why you’re doing it at the start, then you certainly can’t rely on sticking to it a few weeks down the line. Outline in writing the exact reasons for your goal, and carry it with you, referring to it every time you feel like quitting.

Make yourself accountable
Making yourself accountable is one of the easiest ways to nail those resolutions. There is, after all, nothing worse than someone from work asking how your gym sesh went and you having to admit (rather feebly) that you chose Netflix instead. Tell as many people as you can about your new goals, or, if you’d rather, buddy up with a friend and take on those New Year’s resolutions together. Not only will they let you know if you’re slacking, encourage you to get to the gym when you’re not feeling it and slog those last few squats out with you, it will also be a heck of lot more fun.

Make a plan
Organisation is key when setting and reaching goals. No matter your resolution, take a moment to sit down and go through how you’re going to do it, envisioning each day, each week and each month and what you want from them. Detail the days and times you’re going to hit the gym, what you’ll do while you’re there and how long you’ll stay for. Make lists of ideas for lunch prep and on-the-go snacking, or note down the time you’ll be going to sleep and waking up. Most importantly, make deadlines for yourself, such as achieving X by the end of January and Y by the end of February. Not only will you have a surge of positivity and motivation each time you tick one off, but seeing your progress laid bare is a surefire way to keep you sticking to your goals.

Track your progress
Whether your goal is to lose weight, tone up, get more sleep or become more organised, tracking your progress is a great way to buoy motivation. Use pictures, notes, apps or a diary to track your progress, making notes of achievements and setbacks, so that when that mid-January slump comes you have a reason to keep going. Don’t just track numbers though. If your resolution involves aesthetics, make sure you’re keeping track of how you feel too as this is just as much an indicator as the numbers on the scales.

Equip yourself
As the saying goes: fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Whether it’s prepping your lunch the night before, investing in a new pair of running trainers or giving your office a stationery makeover, equipping yourself correctly with the right tools is essential if you’re going to achieve your goals.

Keep a ‘big me up’ book
The key to success is recognising your progress and identifying your weaknesses. However, all too often, the weakness part is a little too easy and we’re quick to chastise ourselves if something hasn’t gone right. While constructive criticism is good for improving, more important is keeping track of the positive moments. Start a ‘big me up’ book, where every day you note down at least three things that have gone right that day. It doesn’t matter if it’s as small as waking up on time, or as big as nailing a new PB at the gym, every success is one worth celebrating and is a great way to maintain motivation.

Enjoy it!
You may think it’s easier said then done, but striving to be as positive as you can is going to have a huge impact on how you reach your goals. Surround yourself with inspiring mood boards, positive Instagram accounts and motivational quotes to keep you going when you least feel like it.

Reward yourself
Last but most certainly not least is rewarding yourself. Staying motivated and sticking to that plan is so much easier when you know you have a new pair of trainers waiting for you at the finish line. Make sure your treat is something you wouldn’t usually get for yourself to make it that bit more special.