How To Get Your Resolutions Back On Track

by MindJournal - 8 min read

How To Get Your Resolutions Back On Track - MindJournal

Four months into 2023, it's time to assess how your New Year's goals are holding up. Whether you're still going strong or aren't quite where you wanted to be – here's what you need to know.

Having a goal in life is great – in fact, according to a peer review of over 1,000 studies carried out by Frontiers In Psychology, there’s overwhelming evidence that setting lofty and specific goals can boost performance and persistence.

Ah, if only it were that simple. As anyone who’s ever set a New Year’s Resolution knows, we might be full of enthusiasm come January 1st, but a few months later, our enthusiasm can start to wane. In fact, research suggests that 80% of us abandon our good intentions by February - just a month in.

Four months into the year, we thought it was the perfect time to assess exactly where we are in reaching our goals, celebrate progress, and, if needed, find a little boost to help you through the remaining eight months ahead.

 

Think Forward

Feeling defeated because you haven’t made the progress you wanted to? It’s time to change your mindset. 

“The roadmap to achieving our dreams is rarely ever simple,” explains Farren Morgan, PT and founder of The Tactical Athlete training method. “To review your progress throughout these first four months with compassion, you must focus on your growth instead of fixating on the end goal. Understand that the process of achieving the goal you’ve set will be a journey.”

In other words, it isn’t that you haven’t achieved your goal – you just haven’t quite got there yet.

What's Your Why?

To help you find your motivation again, it’s important to remind yourself why you wanted to achieve your specific goal in the first place.

“To get back on the horse, first examine WHY you want to achieve this particular goal,” advises life coach Nikki Steele Osborne, “What is the end result? If you’re doing something just because you think you should, motivation will be difficult to sustain.”

If you can rediscover your motivation for starting your resolution in the first place, not only will you be able to tap into that feeling again, but you should be able to give an honest assessment of why it went off track and how to avoid it this time around.

Be Critical

This knowledge, combined with a self-compassionate attitude - is key to finding success in the future.

"We should absolutely celebrate what we achieve and not dwell on what we haven't," explains Robert Brennan, AKA The Mindset Specialist. "This will boost our mindset for success, and if we haven't achieved what we thought we would, then the chances are the goals weren't right, they weren't in accordance with our 'why', and we didn't state them in a motivating an empowering way focusing on effort over results."

Finding the positives in what you've already achieved will give you the self-belief needed to power forward.

Be Kind

Brennan also suggests keeping a gratitude journal alongside recording your progress towards your goals to foster a more positive, compassionate approach to self-review.

Positive psychology and performance coach Kelly Cookson agrees. “In positive psychology, we talk about hope as a positive thinking tool to help us reach our goals,” she says. “Research shows that people who are high in hope are more resilient, experience higher levels of wellbeing and are more motivated and better at setting clear goals.”

So even if these first few months haven’t panned out how you hoped, don’t give up.


Top Tips

Breaking down your goals into actionable steps is often the best way to progress without becoming overwhelmed. So whether you're getting a plan back on track or starting fresh, here are five handy tips to help set yourself up for success.


Be Specific

Having too general a goal is difficult to stick to, explains Brennan. "Goals have to be properly stated and specific. A poor goal would be to deadlift 100kg by August – it's too loose. A good goal would be to strength train three times a week. If it gets to August and you can lift 70kg, you've still progressed and stuck to your goals."

Stop Negative Self-Talk

Being hard on yourself? "The first step to countering negative self-talk and turning it into something positive is staying in tune with your thoughts," says Morgan. "When you actively observe your thoughts, you can spot moments when your mind begins going through a downward spiral of self-doubt. Instead, talk to yourself about the progress you've made throughout the day or week."


Find Balance

Part of achieving our goals is effectively managing the other distractions and commitments in your day. Our Balance Planner can help you do just that with smart schedules, productivity toolkits and self-care systems to help you transform your week. From keeping an eye on your wellbeing to becoming a master of your time, this planner is ideal for those in search of a more balanced – and productive – life.

See Success

"Visualise yourself achieving your goal, imagine how good it will feel, then take one step at a time to get there," advises Steele Osborne. To do this, she suggests adopting an 80/20 perspective. "Changing our mindset so we're content in achieving 80% of our desired outcome helps cushion the blow if we do not meet our expectations and can prevent the urge to just throw the towel in," she says.


Reward Yourself

"The best rewards align with your goals," says Morgan. "You could treat yourself to new fitness gear, or with one of your favourite healthy meals, an extra rest day, or even a night out." Rewarding yourself once a goal is achieved and along the way will reinforce your accomplishments and keep you motivated and on track.

I’s OK if you haven’t achieved everything you wanted to by now. Go easy on yourself, celebrate what you have achieved, and build in actionable steps to attain your goals in the future. And rewards, lots of rewards.

You can do this.


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