It’s the time of year when optimism strikes anew and we think to ourselves, “My New Year’s resolutions will totally work out this time!” Our intentions are good, right? We want to make meaningful changes in our life and January 1st seems to make the most sense as the place to start with all the promises and possibilities a new year brings. Besides, everyone else is doing it.
So we get inspired, energized, and ready to drop the bad habits and build some good ones. There are about 50+ apps out there to help you achieve any resolution you come up with. But the bigger question is whether you are committed or just interested?
Interest vs. Commitment
It’s easy to be interested in a lot of things. But how do we move beyond interest? To begin with, make sure you understand the difference between interest and commitment.
- Interest reads an article or blog post; commitment applies that post to each day.
- Interest works on a new hobby, improving yourself, or eating healthier when it is convenient, easy, or fun; commitment is a priority, is being proactive and looking for ways to make it work!
- Interest procrastinates; commitment focuses on what’s important today and does it.
- Interest makes excuses; commitment constantly looks for new ways and solutions, and won’t take “no” for an answer.
Now ask yourself: Are you committed? Or just interested?
Life change and growth requires more than mere interest. It requires a decision, determination, and ongoing dedication. It is your promise to yourself that you will not give up on you! So are you ready to go all out? Are you ready to fully commit yourself to achieving what you have resolved for 2016?
Check your Mindset
Success, in any aspect of life, starts with your mindset. You must make the decision at your core to hold nothing back. Take a good look at your life and decide that nothing is going to stand in your way of achieving something new or changing a habit in your life. If you’re going to commit yourself to your resolution, it’s got to be something that you truly value; not what others think you should do. Your state of mind at the beginning of this journey is key.
Refine and Define Your Goals
I’’s hard to commit yourself to something if your finish line is a nebulous point in the distance. Plenty of resolutions fail because it can be overwhelming to think about doing something for the rest of your life, even the rest of a year.
Instead of “be healthy in 2016”, be specific about what your goals are and what you want the ultimate outcome to be. Determine what you want, how to get there, and how long you plan on dedicating to reach your destination. Consider some of the unhealthy habits you have now, and think about which of those you may want to change. Or is there something you would like to learn, or accomplish? Be specific.
Regrettably, having a clearly defined end-goal isn’t enough to keep you going. Initial enthusiasm slowly begins to fade as time presses on. In fact, only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions.
Once you know how you want to change/learn/grow, begin to put steps together to get there. Daily resolve. Daily commit. At the beginning of each week, write down your top goals for the next 7 days. At the beginning of each day remind yourself what has to happen on that day, and before you go to bed each night, check to see you’ve completed that task. Your mind needs daily reminders of your goals.
The key to staying motivated is finding both enjoyment and achievement along the way. When it’s fun, we feel we have conquered something; when there is a reward, we gain the edge.
Tell others what you are doing. Tell them to ask you about it and encourage you! Surround yourself with like-minded people; people who support what you are striving for and people who are also heading in the same direction. You will meet them at the running trail, the gym, and in a dance class.
And don’t forget to record your progress with photos, journaling, social media, or anything else that gives you motivation and a sense of progress. Celebrate the milestones.
Go easy on yourself
Expect to revert to your old habits from time to time, but don’t allow that to be a deterrent to reaching your end-goal. There are occasional detours and hazards of the road. Treat these as temporary setbacks, rather than failures or a reason to give up completely. So eat that cookie or enjoy a lazy afternoon, and then get back on track! After all, your committed, not just interested.