It’s that time of year again – goal-setting is in full swing. Even if you were not thinking too much about it (at least, until now), you know that the question is floating around out there: “What are your New Year’s resolutions?”
Whether you call them resolutions, or simply goals, there’s something comforting about it. Psychologically, the beginning of a new year seems to offer the ‘clean slate’ we need to create new habits. But the problem is, that ‘initial spark’ tends to wane, in the face of the daily grind.
So, how can you keep your motivation going strong? Here are some expert tips to maintain momentum in your New Year’s resolutions.
Researchers have found that the beginning and end of a project tend to be the most motivating, whereas in the middle stretch, people’s motivation is likely to lag.
A good way to keep momentum is to break a big goal into smaller subgoals, to maximise beginnings and ends, and minimise middles. For example, instead of setting an annual goal, you could break it into monthly goals, or even weekly ones.
Each step forward will bring you closer to the ‘big prize’, making you feel like you’re moving faster. Also, make sure you celebrate your progress, however small!
In his book 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself, Steven Chandler says motivation is about visualisation. “What you do is create a vision of who you want to be, and then live into that picture as if it were already true.”
Chandler also discusses a great way to outline your goals. Grab a piece of paper and draw four concentric circles, representing your day, your week, your year, and your life respectively. Then write one goal in each circle – these goals are likely to evolve over time, but having a physical representation of your progress can be a good motivator.
According to international speaker Simon T. Bailey, one of the common misconceptions about goal-setting is thinking that goals are the destination.
“Oftentimes, when people don’t hit their target, they get frustrated because things didn’t go the way they thought it should go, and they give up,” Bailey says. “Goals are not set in stone; they are meant to guide you in a general direction. Sometimes you don’t achieve your goal, and that’s OK. What matters is that you’re making progress.”
Don’t aim for perfection – aim for perseverance. And in the meantime, be kind to yourself. Changing habits or building new ones takes time, and there may be setbacks along the way. The key thing, according to life coach Dew Tinnin, is to improve your self-talk.
“When you fall short of reaching a goal, how do you treat yourself and speak to yourself about it? Do you find yourself thinking things like, ‘See, I knew I couldn’t do it!’ or ‘Why did I even try in the first place’?” Tinnin asks.
The bottom line is, don’t tell yourself you’re not good enough, but rather remember why you set your goals in the first place.
If you have a plan or two brewing, and we can help you achieve any of those, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re in your corner, now and in the future.
Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.