It is that time of year again where we sit down with resolve and decide to make some changes for the New Year New You. If you are like me, you have had some success with last year’s New Year Resolutions. However, most of my resolutions usually end sometime around the last week of February or mid-March.
In the quest to accomplish my resolutions, I have worked my willpower muscle until it cannot move anymore. I have learned through the years that willpower alone is not the best motivator in making it to the finish line. Below are some ways to keep motivated to accomplish your resolutions for the New Year New You.
Many people use good ole fashion discipline to accomplish their goals they committed to at the beginning of the New Year. The bad thing about relying on discipline is you end up feeling like you have to do something. I have attempted to use discipline to accomplish goals in the past. Soon after I started, I felt like I had to and was being forced beyond my will. Instead, try asking yourself the following questions:
- What is this resolution’s importance to me?
- What will it bring me?
- What will not pursuing it mean to me?
If you focus on the meaning behind your resolution, there is more value to the blood, sweat and tears that you invest in reaching your New Year New You goal. I would much rather think about my resolution’s importance to me than to be disciplined by a drill sergeant yelling in my head.
There are physical and mental barriers that keep us from going the distance with our resolution. Take time to sort out these barriers to your goals and be prepared to squash them when they come up. Barriers come in all shapes and sizes: spending too much time sitting in front of the TV, a low self-esteem which keeps you from bettering yourself, spending too much time on Facebook, or spending all your time at work. Most of these barriers are rooted in the fear of something like the fear of failure or rejection. It is very important to identify your barrier in order to know what you are dealing with and know how to face it.
One of my resolutions is to lose weight. I prefer working out in the morning. But sometimes, there are barriers to me working out. I maybe too tired, or it is too cold and the bed is nice and warm beckoning me to stay under the covers or I would rather do anything else with this extra time than exercise. To combat these barriers, I get my workout clothes ready the night before. I set them out so I can work out first thing in the morning. Some people actually wear their workout clothes to bed the night before.
Dream about the End
Imagine what it would feel like to achieve success and follow through with your resolutions. I like dreaming about reaching my weight loss goal. I think about how I would look physically, how I would feel mentally or the new clothes I would purchase. There is research that indicates combining mental imagery and physical action is more effective than doing just one. For example, dreaming about what life will be like once you lose weight along with working out and eating healthy is more effective than just exercising alone to achieve your goals for the New Year New You.
This is simply: if A happens then I will do B. There is research that people who use this strategy are more successful in reaching their goals. This method saves your willpower muscle. When the mental barriers start up in the morning and I do not want to work out, I can use the if-then strategy. I can think to myself “if I work out this morning, I will feel better.” Or “if I work out, I will lose weight.”
Sometimes it can be a bit too much to handle when you look at your resolution in its entirety. You can set up sub-goals as markers to help keep you focused as you go along. For instance, if you have fifty pounds you would like to lose before summer, take a look at the calendar between now and the start of summer. Next, set up dates where you will check your progress. On those dates, you could have a sub-goal of 10 pounds lost, 25 pounds lost, etc.
New Year New You
I am going to try these suggestions with my resolution to lose weight this year. I feel that they can work and help me reach my goal. If you decide to try one or all these tips for the New Year New You, email me and let me know how you are doing at firstname.lastname@example.org.