Change is hard, but slipping doesn’t mean you’ve failed! In honor of two weeks of New Year’s Resolutions, let’s talk about a few ways to get back on track when you fall off course with your goals. And honestly, we're just talking about this because I needed to hear it.
1. Remind yourself why you started
For me, this is the most helpful thing when I’m trying to make a change. I stand by the fact that when you’re trying to change or learn something new, it won’t stick as well if you don’t understand why you’re doing it. You’ll be stronger and more motivated to keep going if you write down 5-10 reasons why you care about your goal and put them somewhere you’ll see, or can access easily in a moment of weakness (notes on your phone, for example), so that next time you’re tempted to give up, you can remember why you should keep going.
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2. Set yourself up for success
Most of us have pitfalls that we’re well aware of, or will become aware of as we work to make changes in our lives. When I want to improve my diet, eating late at night and having easy accessibility to foods that I want to avoid are huuuuuge pitfalls for me. So, I try to stock my pantry and fridge with healthier choices and try to avoid the kitchen at night. If I do these things, then I have to go out of my way and put in extra effort when I want to “treat myself” (which for me quickly turns into going off the rails).
You can apply this to any area of your life. Want to work on going to the gym every morning? Lay out clothes the night before and go to bed at a reasonable hour. Want to read 20 pages of a book every night? Put your book on your pillow so that you can’t forget. Set yourself up for success by making the better choice the easier choice.
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3. Be realistic
Like I mentioned before, mistakes don’t make you a failure! Very few people (if any) are 100% perfect when it comes to sticking with a resolution or new habit. Don’t let yourself become complacent, but you also don't need to punish yourself for not being perfect. Accept that maybe yesterday wasn’t your best day, and move on to be better today than you were yesterday.
4. Build your team
Asking for help and having someone you can count on to keep you accountable can be huge motivating factors, whether that’s a friend, family member, therapist, coworker, or anyone else that you can trust to follow up with you. One of my goals for the past few months has been to be more social and reach out to people more often. I set a goal with my accountability partner every other week that I have to follow up on whenever we see each other. For me, that might be having a game night once a month, texting/calling three friends, attending a church activity, or anything else. It would be really easy to make excuses to skip out, but having someone to keep me in check always motivates me to follow through.
5. Believe in yourself
Maybe this sounds trite, but your thoughts become your actions, and if you don’t believe you can do something, you won’t be able to! I’ve let this get in my way far too many times, believing that I either won’t be able to do something, or that I’ll hit my goal and then fall back into old patterns. Don’t let yourself do the same thing! Keep telling yourself that you’re good enough and strong enough, and sooner or later, you’ll start to believe it. Once you have confidence, setbacks will become so much easier to push through.
6. Last, but not least...JUST DO IT!
You messed up. SO WHAT!? Don’t get stuck having a pity party that keeps you down for days. Let yourself be upset for a minute, an hour, or even a day, but then suck it up and keep going. Change only comes through action, and you’re not going to get anywhere sitting in your mistakes. You can do this. Take a deep breath, count to 3, and go be the person you want to be.🎉
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