During the first week of January, most people are energized and positive about the start of a new year — a new year means new possibilities. New Year’s resolutions are made — maybe you’ll finally travel to that far away place you’ve always wanted to go to, or maybe you will finally lose that extra 15 pounds you’ve been trying to lose for a good number of years.
Although you may start 2017 feeling motivated, usually by mid-February the motivation begins to fade. But this year is your year, and to help you reach your goals, the Sheaf has provided some helpful tips to keep you motivated to meet your New Year’s resolutions.
Define your goals and why you want to achieve them
If you don’t know exactly what you’re after, how are you going to reach it? Think of it this way: a marathon-runner doesn’t run for 42 kilometres without knowing where the finish line is. If you have no idea where you’re running, you could give up halfway through and never attain your goal.
Once you understand what you want, you have to understand why you want it — without a reason to not give up, giving up is easy. It will always be easier to give up as soon as the going gets tough, so remind yourself why you’re doing this.
Track your progress
How do you know you’ve made any progress if you don’t track it? It doesn’t have to be every day, it could be every month if you’d rather track that way. Following your process helps keep you accountable and on the right track.
If you’re super forgetful, tracking your progress is a great way to simply remind yourself of what your goal is. Using a calendar is a simple and effective way to track progress, as well as keeping a journal to write the details of your progress in. Either way, make sure to keep these systems close by — if you forget to track, you may also forget your goal.
Make checkpoints along the way
It can be difficult to stay motivated towards a long-term goal, no matter what the end reward is. So here’s a helpful hint: reward yourself after achieving certain short-term goals, which will lead you towards your long-term goal.
This could be treating yourself to something after you pass an exam, leading you to your end goal of obtaining a degree. By using more immediate reinforcers and rewards, you are constantly motivated to continue on the difficult path of achieving what can seem like a faraway goal.
Small checkpoints act as reminders of how you’ll feel once you’ve reached the finish line and those feelings will most likely consist of pride and happiness — remember, small progress adds up to big results!
Have patience and stay positive
When it’s been a month of working hard to achieve your goal and you don’t see any progress, it can be easy to give up. Why continue if what you’re doing doesn’t seem to be helping? You have to remember that you are doing everything right and in time, you will see progress.
Remind yourself how great it is that you’re pushing yourself every day to be a better you and that you’re doing amazing on your race to the finish line. You have to believe in yourself — be proud of yourself, you’re doing something amazing and you’re doing the courageous deed of pushing yourself to become a better person. Don’t give up, you can do this!
It’s great thinking of ways to better yourself, but it’s even better when you take action and achieve your goals! Happy New Year and good luck!
Graphic: Lesia Karalash / Graphics Editor