New Year, New You
It’s mid-January, and New Year’s Resolutions around the world have already been left for dead. We’re all guilty, and there’s no denying it. But, it’s not entirely our fault—it’s in our biology to be lethargic. This may sound a little discouraging, but there are some great tips to help you keep your resolutions and fight the urge to fall back into your old routines.
First and foremost, you need to have the right motivation. There is a lot of intrinsic value associated with meeting a goal. Generally, people are doing it to better themselves. However, because personal growth is intangible, this isn’t always enough. One helpful tip is to attach an extrinsic reward to the completion of your goal. Buy yourself the latest tech gadget, or treat yourself to a spa day. This can give you the extra boost you need to keep going when your motivation is low.
Visualization is also a way to keep yourself inspired. Our brains interpret real-world and imaginary actions in similar ways, and visualization can help you achieve your objective by mapping out the same neural networks you would use to actually do a task. Every day, imagine yourself completing your goal, and try to use all your senses. What do you smell, taste, hear and see? How do you feel? Immerse yourself in your vision, and let it guide you to completion.
Another tool that has shown a lot of success is S.M.A.R.T. goals. S.M.A.R.T is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Sensitive. Each letter gives a very important characteristic of goal-setting, designed to keep you accountable and on track. Having goals that meet the criteria of a S.M.A.R.T goal drastically increases your likelihood of success.
Most importantly, don’t quit. People think that if they cheat on their resolutions once, they have to drop them completely. No! You need to accept your slip-ups, and keep going. Accepting that you’re going to experience some obstacles along the way will better prepare you for when those times come. Nothing worth having is ever easy, but the trials and tribulations are what make your accomplishing your goals even sweeter.
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