It’s almost that time of year again – we have celebrated with family, eaten lots of food, spent tons of money on presents, and now it’s time to get back to the best version of ourselves.  This is a great time of year to take advantage of the added enthusiasm that the new year heralds in.  What will your goals be?  What kind of new year’s resolution can you truly get behind?  

 

Maybe this means eating less sugar, working out more, or stopping smoking. No matter what your goal is, it is important to set yourself up for a win.  

 

There are simple steps you can employ to avoid setting yourself up for failure when you pick your New Year’s Resolution.

1. Start Small

 

How many times have we all started something but never followed through with it?  One of the reasons we might fail is that we set our goals way to high or set goals that we are simply not ready to begin.   We all want to go from 0 to infinity all at once, but when setting goals it is important to start small, and then think about increasing your goals over time.  

 

If you want to eat healthier, for example, it is better to replace one habit and work from there.  A good way to do that is substitute or eliminate one food item per week, and slowly add another item each following week.  When we set our sights small, we are not only more likely to succeed, but it makes us more likely to set future goals that we stick to.

2. Write it Out

 

Studies have shown that writing out our goals makes us more likely to achieve them. Every morning and evening spend just a few minutes journaling about what your goal is, why this goal is important, and how you are going to achieve this goal.  Writing out what you have to do each day and keeping that where you will see it is also extremely beneficial.

 

In a study on goal setting, 267 participants were broken into 5 groups:

 

Group 1 were asked to simply think about their goals and rate their goals on a variety of categories.  Group 2 was asked to do the same, but also write out their goals.  Group 3 was asked to do the same as group 2, but also formulate action commitments.  Group 4 was asked to do the same as group 3, but also send either goals and action steps to a friend.  Group 5 was asked to do the same as group 4, but also send weekly progress reports to a friend.

 

This study found that those in groups 2-5 as a whole accomplished significantly more of their goals than those in group 1, confirming the idea that writing out goals is correlated with succeeding in those goals.

 

It was also found that weekly accountability and friend support led to higher goal accomplishments, leading to our next tip.

3. Have an Accountability Partner and Check in Regularly

 

We are social creatures, and this carries over to all aspects of our lives.   By choosing a friend or loved one to share your goals with they can help you stay on track and motivated to reach your goal.  Set a regular weekly date where you can both review your goals and your progress.  This will keep you accountable for keeping your goals.

 

This can be even funner if you both choose a resolution that you can work on together to help each other succeed!

4. Don’t Be Hard on Yourself

 

Remember, few have succeeded in their goals without bumps along the way.  This is a valuable way of learning. Be easy on yourself if you mess up – if you have a goal of going to the gym three times per week but you miss one whole week, don’t let that get you down.  Simply, get back on track the following week. 

 

Everyone messes up sometimes, but it is those that move past these hurdles and get back to their goals when they fail that find long-term success in achieving the life that they want to create.

 

Concluding Remarks

 

So there you have it – set small and manageable goals, write your goals out, pick a friend for support and accountability, and don’t give up when you encounter bumps along the way.

 

Remember, these goals are to help improve your overall quality of life, so take them one step at a time and enjoy the process.  Stop on by Hummingbird Community Acupuncture is you need a little extra help staying on task.

You may also enjoy reading:   How to Make the Most of Your New Year’s Resolution.

 

References:

https://www.dominican.edu/academics/lae/undergraduate-programs/psych/faculty/assets-gail-matthews/researchsummary2.pdf

 

 

Joaquina Cante Administrator
Joaquina Cante, L.Ac., Shaman, is a nationally board certified acupuncturist and holistic healthcare practitioner in Boulder, Colorado. Owner of Hummingbird Community Acupuncture, she is a believer in the innate power of each individual to heal and become a better human being.