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It’s the new year and you’re ready to kick start a stronger and better you. You want to be consistent with your exercise, eat better, lose weight, and spend quality time with family and friends. You envision 2023 to be the year for you to lead a meaningful and purpose-filled life.
Only these resolutions may be way too familiar. It’s likely because you also made the same goals last year or the year before that. Despite our resolve to start fresh at the beginning of each year, we admittedly struggle to hit our goals.
According to a 2002 study, only 46% were successful at keeping their resolutions for six months. Nonetheless, persistence is better than quitting. After all, goal setting remains an important step to creating a new you, whether you will set them at the start, middle, or end of the calendar year.
For your 2023 resolutions, a new strategy with the support of the right tools may help you make the changes you want. Read on to know some helpful tools to reach your new year goals.
Tool #1: Habit Building
New Year’s resolutions are made with the best intentions in mind to improve our behaviors and perspectives. They help bring us closer to the person we want to become. The aim is they should push us to leave behind the old behavioral patterns and attitudes that have been holding us down and keeping us from reaching our full potential.
But for the change to become permanent, it must evolve into new habits to replace the old ones. James Clear, author of the New York Times bestseller "Atomic Habits," defines habits as “small decisions you make and actions you perform every day.” Clear adds: “Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits.”
The emphasis is on the word “small.” Start small to make it more achievable. If you aim to do low-impact exercise every day, for example, consider setting a specific time of the day when you can go for a 10-minute walk. Once you get used to it, increase the duration to 15 then 20 to 30 minutes until walking becomes part of your daily routine.
There are several mobile and web apps for habit building that you can use today such as Habitica, Goalify and HabitBull. You may also opt to go for the good old calendars or charts to serve as a reminder of your intentions as you work toward building new habits based on your resolutions.
Tool #2: Journaling
Record your journey and intentions and monitor your progress by keeping a journal. With your journal, you can reflect on your goals and understand how they are aligned with your values and principles. A goal that is driven by personal values results in greater goal progress, a 2008 study found.
You can use online journals, blogging sites, or notebooks. With notebooks, you may opt to add markers, stickers, and coloring pens to personalize each page and make your journaling more fun.
Tool #3: Reminders
Amid your busy schedule, it’s easy to lose track of your goals. A reminder helps you to be organized and pushes you to get on with tasks that need your time and attention. However, it can be self-defeating if you put in too many tasks for a day. This may demotivate you. Try including only those that your schedule will allow.
Reminders make us think of our resolutions despite the hustle and bustle of our lives, making them easy to follow through. They are highly vital that David Allen, author of "Getting Things Done," includes them as among the fundamentals of a methodology he designed to help others change how they approach life and work.
You may opt to download “to-do list” and task management apps with schedule reminders as part of their key features. Post-its are also a great way to get your attention to the tasks that need to be done. You can put them in places where you can easily see them such as in your fridge or your bathroom mirror.
Tool #4: Accountability
Sharing your resolutions with friends and family members makes you more accountable. It also makes achieving your resolutions easier because you can tell them about your struggles. They can give you emotional support and a moral boost, especially during times when you miss your goals. At the end of the day, it is nice to share your achievements with others who are rooting for you.
Tool #5: Visualization
Visualization involves picturing yourself achieving your goals. Mind Tools defines this practice as “a simple technique that you can use to create a strong mental image of a future event.” It adds that, by practicing visualization, you increase your confidence in your ability to hit your goals, thus strengthening your motivation.
Each of us has a unique approach to our New Year’s resolutions. A setback is just a setback. It should not be the reason for you to give up. It’s extremely challenging to meet all of them, so utilize every available tool to truly make a new beginning this year.
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