Many of us use the beginning of a New Year to set goals and resolutions to become a better version of ourselves in the new year. Unfortunately many of those well-meaning plans are forgotten by the end of January and not followed through. I have been thinking about the practical steps one can take to make those plans last to be able to actually see and make some lasting changes. Hope you find these tips helpful!
1. Make specific plans: Avoid general statements like "eat healthier," "workout more," or "save money." Nobody knows what these statements actually mean and they're easily forgettable. Instead, make specific plans like:
[note: these aren't my personal goals- just examples of how you might want to make your plans!]
- Wake up at 6:30am every morning
- If your plan is to save money, make a list of specific current costs that you can cut & make specific amount goal for each month of how much you'd like to save.
- Dedicate 30 minutes every night to reading at 9pm-9:30pm
- [Or, if macro/calorie tracking isn't the way you want to do your healthy eating, you can still make specific plans like: eat green vegetables x times/day, limit eating out to x times/week, etc]
- Track my food intake via myfitnesspal app & stick to x calories with at least x% of calories coming from proteins [there are many websites out there to help out with getting this started- I recommend iifym]
- Make an appointment to meet with trainer at gym [many gyms have at least one free training session to introduce their members to gym equipments and the facilities; if not, I personally believe investing in a good personal trainer is a worthy investment if you are just getting started with weight training or another type of training]
- Go to the gym 4x/week, following [insert specific workout plan]; I get my plans usually from here or here.
- Decluttering? Do a quick research on the Good Will or Salvation Army stores near you & what items they are accepting for donations. Ask for their hours and plan your donation day!
- Want to run a half marathon this year? Do your research on how much training you need and pick an ACTUAL race date!
2. Set reminders & timers: It takes a lot of work to start a new habit. Your body and mind are not used to it so it doesn't take much to forget about your new goals and continue living your life the way you have been. Here's where your smart phones come in handy! Here are some examples of how you can utilize reminders and timers to achieve your new goals:
- Set alarm to go off at [time] to read a book/learn some Spanish on Duolingo/etc
- Set alarm at breakfast time to log your meals or to be mindful of what you are eating/what you will be eating for the rest of the day
- On Sunday, take a moment to plan out your week & when you will be going to the gym. Then set the alarm to go off the night before so you can get your gym bag ready!
3. Make those purchases: This sounds obvious but sometimes we make goals and plans without the proper equipment or materials we need to achieve those goals. Here are some examples purchases you may need to make to make your goals attainable.
- Eating healthy & minimizing eating out? You need a proper lunch bag. I used to use this bag which was big enough for all my meals for the entire day- but here are some smaller & prettier options: this, this, and this.
- Gym membership-- to a gym close by that you will actually go to.
- Alarm clock: if your phone alarm isn't cutting it, maybe it's time to invest in a new alarm clock. This one is by far my favorite. It makes waking up actually semi-pleasant.
- If your goal is to take better care of your skin/hair/etc, buy that SPF containing moisturizer or hair treatment mask...
- You get the point- do your research to see which item will actually help you achieve your goals so you can make the most out of your purchase.