We are more than halfway through the first month of 2021. You’ve made it this far! If you’re like many people, you may have made New Year’s resolutions. A new year seems a good time to set goals for things we want to change or improve but oftentimes making resolutions can be easier than sticking to them. Sometimes goals can seem oh-so far away and when we struggle to meet a personal goal, we can become disappointed and get down on ourselves. If you are feeling challenged when it comes to keeping your resolutions, you are not alone. Here are some things to be mindful of when it comes to those coveted New Year’s resolutions and for goal setting in general:
- Recognize that setting a new goal can be a difficult task in itself. When it comes to setting goals, people have a tendency to be overly ambitious. If you are finding that the goal you set is too lofty, think about how you can make modifications so your goal is more attainable and desired outcomes are within reach.
- Monitor negative self-talk. When we set out to accomplish a goal and we come up short, it can be easy to scold ourselves. Rather than focusing on what you didn’t do, try and reinforce the positives and areas where you exceeded expectations.
- Watch for falling into a place of self-doubt. If we don’t meet identified goals, we can become susceptible to feeling doubtful and questioning ourselves, even our worth. Not meeting a set goal or falling behind on an anticipated timeline doesn’t indicate anything other than you are human. Be gentle with yourself and maintain self-compassion throughout the process.
- Don’t let the fear of failure deter you from setting new and future goals. Sometimes we can fall into the trap of all or nothing thinking; if we don’t fully meet the objective we are striving for, we can throw in the towel and give up completely. Often, achieving identified goals is a marathon not a sprint and it is very possible there will be detours along the way. If you find yourself off-track or only partway, it is not an indication of failure but rather an opportunity to readjust the targets you are aiming for.
- Steer clear of making comparisons. Witnessing the achievements of others is easier than ever; each person’s success is just a click away. Someone else might be doing great (remember, social media rarely tells the whole story). Don’t let the accomplishments of others be distractions that divert you from your own path. The successes of others can be looked upon positively and serve as additional motivation for you to reach your goals.
- Celebrate and affirm your successes, big and small. We can be quick to dismiss the things we do well and dwell on our shortcomings. Make sure to acknowledge when you have a victory, no matter how small it is. When you achieve one of your resolutions, make sure to give yourself well-deserved praise. There will be future objectives you will aspire toward; positive affirmations can go a long way and help to fuel the successes that are ahead.
- Be patient with yourself. Remember, accomplishing each goal is a process and some achievements come quicker than others. Stay focused on the road ahead, straight toward your upcoming goals.