I have read that it takes a minimum of 30 days to turn an activity into a habit. Knowing this, there is no better time than the present to reassess your 2013 resolutions. Or, if you are like me, I no longer wait until New Year’s to make the changes I need to become a healthier person, so you may have your goals to reassess. But, there are many people who do make resolutions, so as we approach the end of the first 30 days of the year, now is the perfect time to see if you have taken the right steps to turn your activities into habits to sustain you through 2013. Or, if you are finding it difficult to keep the momentum going, read on!
I did what seemed like a multitude of things to keep myself on track during 2012 and with success at year’s end, I plan to continue these steps for this year. I must say that before completing the five steps below, I came to realize and accept that no one can do this for me. I am making the changes for me, not anyone else. Often when faced with a difficult workout or other tough choices, I will tell myself, “I do it for me.” With that simple statement, I feel stronger and push myself harder to keep my motivation from within going strong.
With my above mantra, here are my five suggested steps to help keep your resolutions or goals on track.
- Determine your goals: Goals should not only be big picture and long term, they also need to be short term. In setting short-term goals, you feel good about achieving a goal quickly and increase your own motivation to continue toward the bigger, longer-term goal. Be realistic. Make your goals something you can reasonably achieve because when you accomplish your goal you will increase your confidence and strength.
- Write it down: Writing down your goals helps you to remember what you want to achieve. It gives you something to look at, review, and helps to keep your goals in the forefront of your mind. Keeping a journal or calendar of what you did on any given day will help you keep track of the steps you are taking on a daily basis.
- Rewards: This is the fun part. Rewards should be something you will enjoy, but also support what you are trying to accomplish.
- Be flexible: There needs to be room for falling off the horse, then getting right back on. It is tough to establish habits, so be kind to yourself and flexible when a day doesn’t go the way it should.
- Review and Reassess: When I am lacking motivation or if things aren’t happening the way I want them to, I like to go back and review my goals and assess the steps I am taking to achieve my goals. Sometimes the review is all I need to get back on course. Other times I realize I need to add or skip a step if what I am doing is not working. This is also a part of being flexible. Just because you say you are going to do something, doesn’t mean you have to do that forever, especially if you realize it is not going to get you where you want to go.
I hope in reading this it will help you in staying the course to achieve the results you are looking for in your endeavors. Do it for you.