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  • Writer's pictureLisa Harris

Checking in on your New Year’s Resolutions:

3 questions you should ask when your resolve starts to slip

We’ve all been there. The clock strikes midnight on January 1st, and we get so excited for the fresh start (and motivation) that the new year brings that we make a long list of resolutions. In our excitement, we rush out to purchase pretty planners, fancy exercise equipment and a generous stack of self-help books, promising ourselves that this will finally be our year. That excitement carries us through January, but odds are you’ve probably been here too: the end of month arrives, excuses pile on, and our resolve to reach our resolutions starts to slip.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Research shows that while 50% of adults in the United States create new year’s resolutions, fewer than 10% actually stick to them. And that’s understandable. Sticking to our goals requires commitment, energy and focus, and between parenting, partnerships, professions, and now a pandemic, we already have a so much on our plates. It’s hard prioritizing our goals when our focus is already pulled in so many different directions.

It’s hard work, but not impossible. The good news is that there are simple ways you can set yourself up for long-term success, and it starts with asking yourself the right questions. Keep reading for 3 questions you should ask yourself to help you stick to your new year’s goals.

1. Are your goals S.M.A.R.T?

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, many of us have ambitions like getting in shape, getting organized, or spending more time with family. These are great goals to have, but they’re also quite broad. It’s one thing to have a goal, but it’s another to actually have a plan for reaching that goal.

Take a look back at your resolutions and ask yourself if they are SMART. SMART goals are objectives that are:

· Specific

· Measurable

· Achievable

· Realistic

· Timely

If your goals are too broad, consider narrowing them down. By making sure your goals are SMART, you’re getting specific with your intentions. It makes it easier to divide the bigger picture into smaller, actionable tasks. Defining the who, what, where, when and how of your resolutions allows you to focus on what it takes to reach them, which ultimately makes it easier to keep yourself accountable and keep going.

2. What’s Holding you back?

If you’ve created SMART goals for yourself but still find it hard to stick to them, ask yourself what specifically is holding you back. What are your current habits versus the habits you aim to create, and how do you bridge that gap? Changing old habits is no easy feat, so it is important to do everything you can to set yourself up for success from the start.

Anticipate the obstacles before you face them. Identify what exactly is keeping you from success and equip your toolbelt with whatever you need to propel yourself forward. After all, it is much easier to create a solution when you actually understand the problem!

3. Is your eye on the prize?

Unfortunately, motivation is a finite resource, and there will most likely be several points throughout your journey when the drive to succeed fades away. Whatever our goals are, we must accept that reaching them will inevitably put us outside our comfort zones. But how can we push past the discomfort and keep going? How can we renew our motivation?

First ask yourself: is your eye on the prize? When our motivation runs out, we must keep reminding ourselves why me made our resolutions in the first place. There are practical ways we can create reminders for ourselves. Create a vision board so you can and visualize what success looks like to you. Set up reminders on your phone. Track your success and write it down!

I want to hear from you! How are your resolutions coming along? What tips do you have for success? If you’re like many of us and find your motivation slipping, don’t beat yourself up and wait for next year to start over. Be kind to yourself and remind yourself that every day, week, and month is a fresh start!

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