You did it! You made it through the first month of the new year, and it’s time to take stock of your progress for your resolutions.
There are 11 months left to accomplish your year-long goals, so there’s no better time to figure out if you’re still on the right path or if adjustments need to be made. With that in mind, here are five things you should do right now to keep your resolutions on track:
Reflect on Progress You’ve Made Thus Far
First and foremost, making it through an entire month with new habits or an altered perspective is no small feat. Congratulate yourself for making it this far and take pride in what you’ve already accomplished.
If you’re not quite as far along as you expected to be by this time, that’s OK. Take note of what went right, what went wrong, and how you can bounce back in the months to come. You can also consider resetting your resolutions to something that seems a little bit less daunting, but no matter what, don’t give up entirely.
Make It About Your Health, Not Anything Superficial
If you’re embarking on a weight-loss journey or starting a workout regimen, it might be tempting to make milestones more about the way you look rather than the way you feel.
Of course, losing weight or building strength often comes with improvements to your outward appearance, but these should never be your primary measurements of success. Everyone loses weight or gets in shape differently, with some people showing signs of improvement far more quickly than others. And because of that, it can be easy to get discouraged if you don’t see noticeable results right away, even if you’ve been working your tail off at the gym or eating better.
Focus on the real benefits of your resolutions in terms of your overall health, not your physical appearance. If you’ve been going to the gym since the beginning of the new year, think about how much more you’re already able to do in terms of exercise compared to your first day. Similarly, if you’ve dedicated yourself to eating better, focus on how much better you feel when you eat a well-balanced diet. Just remember, the physical changes are sure to come in time, but it takes long-term dedication to make a real difference.
Consider How You’re Framing Your Resolutions
One of the best psychological “hacks” for your resolutions is simply changing the way you’re thinking about them. This is especially true for any goal that involves health or wellness.
Rather than focusing on all the things you’re unhappy with as being the driving force behind your goals, start thinking about all the positive reasons to stick with your resolutions.
For example, if your goals involve living a more active lifestyle, don’t think about it in terms of how you’re unhappy with your lifestyle now — think about how much happier and healthier you’ll feel by striving for your goals. The power of positive thinking is real!
Create an Action Plan for the Rest of the Way
If you began the new year with just an idea of what you wanted to accomplish, you’re less likely to hold yourself accountable for the rest of the way. Having a goal in writing and a realistic action plan that outlines all the steps you need to take are key to accomplishing your goal even as distractions or hurdles appear throughout the year.
Think About Why You’re on This Journey
Whether you’re off to a great start or not, this is a tip that you should keep in mind for the rest of the year.
Personal goals are just that — personal. Resolutions set for the wrong reasons are rarely completed and even more rarely fulfilling, so keep asking yourself why you’re striving for something. If the answer stops being about making yourself — not someone else — happier, consider changing your goals up entirely.