It’s now 2022. I know, I can’t believe it either. Here we are once again, filled with anticipation, excitement, nervousness and probably some apprehension on what the new year holds. Despite the last two years, it’s important for us to have some kind of plan. Setting goals for yourself is a more fulfilling way to live, especially once you’ve achieved them. Studies have shown, people who have certain goals but don’t set a resolution for them, are 96% more likely to not reach that goal after six months. So I’m sure many of you are thinking about giving yourself a new year’s resolution for this year. Perhaps it’s to exercise more, or spend more time with your friends and family. Maybe it’s to finally learn that new language.
But you can’t help but think “I’ve tried this before and it didn’t work, what will make this year any different?” Well for starters, you’re not alone. Research has shown that, after 6 months, 46% of people who make a resolution are still successful in keeping it. This means more than half of people who make a resolution aren’t able to stick it out after 6 months. Whatever your goal might be, I’m here to give you six practical tips on how to make those new year resolutions stick.
- Be Specific
- Keep It Simple
- Get Yourself An Accountability Partner
- Don’t Be Hard On Yourself
- Break It Up Into Smaller Steps
- Remind Yourself Of The Bigger Picture
This may seem like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised at how many resolutions lack specificity. Every time the end of the year looms, people decide that from the 1st of January they’re going to try and do something they’ve never done before. Let’s take choosing the new year to learn a new language as an example. According to Duolingo, 30 million people attempted to learn a new language in 2020. It’s great that this highlights how interconnected our world is and the importance of knowing more than one language. However, the key word here is attempted.
Just saying you want to learn a new language isn’t enough to motivate you to keep at it, for more than one month. A more specific goal would be, “I want to learn how to give a 15 minute work presentation in German.” This is also a great example of a SMART goal. Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound. With these qualities in mind, you’re more likely to produce a tailored timetable specific to learning German vocabulary. You can research and look for the right grammar, tenses and phrases. It’ll enable you to reach that 15 minute presentation goal probably a lot quicker than simply saying you’d like to learn German.
If you’d like to achieve this even faster, get a personal tutor from Learn&Co. By working together to make a specified and tailored learning experience, you’ll be well on your way to reaching that goal. Through creating a more specific goal, you’ll clearly be able to see the progress you make over time. You are then more likely to achieve your goals.
Keep It Simple
The new year brings a fresh perspective on things and a more focused mindset. However, it also brings a rush of overambitious plans and extravagant declarations of life changes. You tend to feel you can achieve anything. This is definitely true, but the more promises you make to yourself, the harder it becomes to keep on top of them all. For instance, if you decide you’d like to lose some weight this year, learn a new skill, get more sleep, and spend more time with friends and family, you’re way better than me!
Seriously though, if you try to implement all these new goals into your already demanding schedule, you’ll find you end up achieving none of them. The aim isn’t to try to completely alter your day to day activities. It is to find simple ways to adapt your new goals, almost seamlessly into your life. Making your goal simple such as “I want to start eating one piece of fruit every day,” allows you to start with a simple action. Regardless of when you do your grocery shopping, whether it’s monthly or fortnightly, you can easily add buying more fruit to your shopping list. Keeping the goal simple, not only allows you to see measurable progress. It also keeps you from completely going out of your already set routines.
Get Yourself An Accountability Partner
For some reason, the word ‘accountability’ seems to frighten a lot of people. Perhaps it’s the acknowledgement that you have either said or done something. And therefore, you must take responsibility for anything that happens afterwards. Accountability simply means ‘the fact of being responsible for what you do and able to give a satisfactory reason for it, or the degree to which this happens.’ It is not making yourself feel guilty, discouraged or unmotivated to finish what you started.
This is where picking the right accountability partner comes into play. Research by The American Society of Training and Development found that “people are 65 percent likely to meet a goal after committing to another person. Their chances of success increase to 95 percent when they incorporate ongoing meetings with their partners to check in on their progress.” I mean with statistics like that, who wouldn’t want to get themselves on a sure fire track to success? Intro.
Now, an accountability partner can’t be somebody who will continually cut you slack. This won’t fuel the progress you’d want to see. They need to have certain key skills and attributes. These include discipline; the ability to motivate without degrading your progress; and assisting you in creating detailed plans for you to reach your goals. If you’re not sure where to start finding a partner, you can reach out to reliable friends and family members. Or even colleagues that genuinely care about you reaching those resolutions.
My advice would be to contact someone on a professional level. The qualities I mentioned earlier would most likely be within their skill set. Besides, it may be hard to separate your personal relationships with family and friends at times, with them turning into someone who has to hold you accountable for your progress. If you wanted to learn a new language in the new year and you decided to learn how to have a conversation in Spanish for example, I would contact a tutor at Learn&Co. The tutors have 10+ years of experience within the education industry. With an amazing friendly demeanour, they would ensure you are celebrated for each milestone you achieve along the way.
Don’t Be Hard On Yourself
It’s easy to make yourself out as the villain in your own story. In an era of posting all your accomplishments for worldwide approval, we tend to believe what we’re doing just isn’t enough. First of all, I’m here to tell you that simply trying to change aspects of your life is absolutely amazing.
I remember when I was younger and my school decided that all classes had to learn to play the recorder. Specifically, to the song three blind mice. Now as you can imagine, the first few lessons did not go so well. This was shown through loud, out of tune screeching sounds of 20+ eight year olds. However, that didn’t stop us from practising at home, in class or in the playground to try and achieve playing that song. Eventually after a few weeks of consistent practice, I was able to happily play an in tune version of the three blind mice.
The key to hitting those new year resolutions is not expecting to reach them within an unrealistic time frame. Or not understanding why it seems so hard. It’s about the small words or acts of encouragement you give yourself along the way. Of course, it can be frustrating when things don’t seem to be going as planned. But, showing yourself gratitude and kindness in those moments is a better motivator to keep you going. Scientists and psychologists have proven that keeping a gratitude journal, even for just three weeks, led to a long list of physical, psychological and relationship benefits. So, the next time you’re feeling behind on your goals, try to remember how far you’ve already come.
Break It Up Into Smaller Steps
A great way to approach your new resolutions is like a baby. It’s best to learn how to crawl, then walk and eventually run. Trying to jump straight into changing your entire lifestyle is more likely going to end with you giving up or failing. Instead, aim to create a realistic plan. One filled with smaller tasks you need to accomplish, that’ll ultimately bring you closer to your main resolution. You might be thinking, these smaller steps are just going to distract or slow down your progress towards the main goal. Well, think about this. Intro.
If you decided you wanted to run a 3k marathon, I’m sure you wouldn’t go jogging for one day then choose to run the marathon the next day! However, many of us come up with these types of resolutions and become overambitious with our commitment. You decide that in order to reach that goal, you’ll start going to the gym 5 days a week. Then life gets in the way, causing you to miss one day. And you find yourself never stepping back into the gym again. Let’s try to put a stop to half-hearted resolutions and use this method to really make them stick.
If you break down your main goal into smaller, more manageable steps, and you are consistent, you’re more likely to achieve it. Taking the marathon example, break it down into smaller goals. You might find jogging twice a week around the neighbourhood for two weeks to be a great starting point. The same goes for something like wanting to learn a new language in the new year.
Once you’ve reached that goal, increase it to three times a week for two weeks until you’re able to do it five times a week, every week. This will lead you up to the day of the big marathon. Managing your resolution as something you need to build towards, as opposed to accomplishing straight away, will create long-lasting motivators and routines that get you across that finish line.
Remind Yourself Of The Bigger Picture
One thing most people tend to forget is why they made the resolution in the first place. Of course you remember what the exact goal is. But the reasoning behind it is usually overlooked throughout the process. What were you hoping to achieve from learning a language in the new year? The main point of reminding yourself why you started is because your drive towards your goals will diminish over time. As difficulties arise and getting up at 5am no longer seems worth it, you need that reminder of why you’re doing it in the first place.
I’d suggest, when you first write down your resolutions, put a note next to them explaining why you’re taking on this new venture. In addition, write what your life would look like once you’ve achieved your goal. Some people find it helpful to keep a resolution/bullet journal. These allow you to clearly display your reasons why, successes and struggles in one place. A great way to easily refer back to something when in need of a motivation boost.
The new year is essentially a worldwide refresh of each of our lives. We can decide to keep on repeating the same mistakes we make year after year. Or start making small yet impactful changes to our daily lives. There will always be obstacles that get in the way of our progress. But the key is not letting them completely throw you off track.
If learning a new language is something you’ve committed to in the new year, book a free consultation with Maria here at Learn&Co. We happily walk you through the process, whilst getting a better understanding of what you’d like to achieve. By implementing a combination, or all of these six practical tips, you’ll be well on your way to having a successful and fulfilling year ahead of you.