2023 has arrived and with a new year usually comes new goals and resolutions! So, let’s talk about how to create realistic goals and how you can stick to them!
1. Define your goal, make it realistic and make it part of your identity
Once you have figured out what your goal is going to be, figure out the best way that you can achieve that goal. For example, if your goal is to run a marathon, your training is going to start small and build up gradually. You’re not going to start Day 1 of your training with a 20km run. If you’re realistic, your goals will be much more sustainable and achievable.
James Clear- entrepreneur and author of the novel ‘Atomic Habits’- says that focusing on the identity that you would like to build is more important than focusing on just the goal itself. So, if you would like to run a marathon, build the identity of a runner. Even if you only run a short distance every day, you are building the identity of a runner, while working towards your goals in a realistic way. This will make it much easier to stick to your goals, but also maintain them even after you have achieved them, as you have now built a new identity and formed new habits.
2. Be mentally tough
Some days, achieving your goals or sticking with your new habits is going to feel too hard or you might experience some setbacks. It is so important to remember that setbacks will occur, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t still moving forward.
James Clear shares his insights about ‘never missing twice’. This means it’s alright to have one slip up or setback but recognize it and don’t let it happen again. If your resolution is to become a runner by running every day, but you miss one day, be mentally strong enough to not miss two days or three days. Making excuses just makes it harder to stick to your resolutions.
3. Think positively
If you can train your brain to think positively, you will learn to stop doubting yourself. James Clear stresses the importance of focusing on the good and ignoring the bad- a habit that can apply to all aspects of life. As humans, we always prefer to be praised and hear good things about ourselves. So, if we start only focusing on the positives when it comes to our family and friends, we’ll start to do this with ourselves as well.
4. Be patient
5. Be a forward thinker
6. Decide that failure is not an option
Sticking to your resolution is entirely up to you, but it’s okay if you need to adjust it or modify it to ensure that it’s still serving you and making you happy. If your resolution was to run a marathon, but your body needs time to adjust to becoming an avid runner, maybe you adjust your goals to run a half-marathon. Rather than failing and giving up on your resolution, allow yourself to learn from your mistakes, take breaks when necessary and prioritize building an identity around the goals that you are trying to achieve. Running a half-marathon still makes you a runner and puts you one step closer to being able to run a full marathon.
So, after all of that, do you finally feel ready to build your new identity and finally stick to your New Year’s resolution?!