January starts off full of resolutions and good intentions, but according to one study, only 8% of us will stick with the goals we've set for 2015. Those don't seem like good odds, do they?
I always find it much easier to stick with something new at the beginning. I'm motivated and inspired, doing lots of research and making action plans.
Yet if life gets in the way and I get knocked off course, I find it a lot harder to get back up and take another step forward. I've lost momentum and I struggle to find it again. The self-doubt kicks in and I start questioning if I can even do it and why I started in the first place.
But what sets apart those who achieve their goals from those that don't, is they know how to get back on track. Here are my tips:
Don't Wait for a Certain Date
In the past I've been guilty of waiting for a certain date to start something or get back on track, whether it's a Monday or the first of the month or another time that seems symbolic. Recognize that this is procrastination and start NOW.
Start with a Bite-Sized Chunk
I love Shauna's post on creating manageable goals by breaking them down into a small action that you can perform consistently. If you got off track with your exercise routine, just focus on putting on your trainers and getting out the door everyday. If it's your diet you're struggling with, give up the restrictions and just add one really healthy meal per day. Look over Shauna's ace tips for breaking your goal down, especially if you're wanting to learn a new creative or lifestyle skill. Once you've stuck with this smaller goal consistently, think about how you can start ramping things up.
Change Your Self-Talk
Instead of berating yourself for 'failing,' remind yourself that you've just gotten off track. Concentrate on the next step and remember what motivated you to start in the first place. What feeling were you trying to create? What goal did you want to reach? Stay focused on that. Boil it down to a short and snappy mantra that you can remind yourself of when you feel discouraged. You might even want to put an hourly reminder in your phone to keep repeating it to yourself.
Find an Accountability System
Figure out what will keep you motivated and accountable to your goals. I like having an accountability partner who's working on similar projects to check-in with daily. I'm more likely to follow through when I know there's someone else who is expecting me to get it done. And it's great to have someone to bounce ideas off of or ask advice from when I'm feeling stuck. You could also try being your own accountability partner with 'The Seinfeld Method' - let those rows of Xs motivate you to not break your streak.
Amp Up Your Inspiration
When we start out with a new project, we usually feast on inspiration. Get back into that mindset. Read motivational books. Scour Pinterest. Follow inspiring people on Instagram. Create a vision board. Surround yourself with visual reminders of your goal.
Do you have any great tips for getting back on track? I'd love to hear!