Every new year, we set goals that we want to achieve with the hope of becoming a newer, better version of ourselves. We write them down and tell ourselves that this year will be our year, only to forget and wind up right back where we started a few weeks later. If you struggle to really make your goals stick, try these top tips.
1. Make your goals realistic
It’s easy to pick an ambitious goal like climbing Mount Everest, but if you’ve never climbed in your life, this might not be particularly realistic. If that really is your goal, maybe you could start smaller and make your goal to join a climbing club this year, or spend x amount of hours practicing your climbing technique. The more realistic your goal seems, the more likely you are to actually stick with it.
2. Make it mean something
You shouldn’t choose a goal based on what everyone else is doing, or what others think you should do. To make a goal more achievable, it should be something that’s actually valuable to you. Quitting smoking might be something everyone says you should do, but if you want to quit smoking to be healthier for your family, that’s more likely to stick because it means something personally to you.
3. Try habit stacking
Habit stacking is when you tie a new activity onto an existing one to help you build it into a habit. For example, if you have a coffee every morning and your goal is to read more, you could read a book while you drink your coffee to make it something you do everyday. The more you can integrate tasks that will help you achieve your goal into your everyday routine, the better they’ll stick.
4. Track your progress
If you can’t see how far away you are from reaching your goal, you’re less likely to stick to it. Track your progress in whatever way works for you so you can imagine getting to that end point. Think about something visual like the thermometer that charities often have when fundraising – each time you move towards your goal, you can colour it in more.
5. Be kind to yourself
As with anything, the more time goes by, the harder it will be to keep your progress consistent. If you miss a day, or you can’t seem to bring yourself to work on your goal this week, don’t beat yourself up about it. Get back up, and start again with something small to help you feel like you’re back on track.
What goals are you planning to achieve in 2023?