It’s January and the start of a new year, which means many of us are carefully devising plans for the next 365 days. And for some, circumstances change, new opportunities arise, and unpredictable events inevitably pop up from time to time, ultimately leading to failed resolutions. I don’t mean to sound bleak, but there’s real, albeit disheartening, data behind keeping up with resolutions: less than ⅓ of people actually keep their new years’ goals. And the number one reason for failing? Lack of motivation.
But that’s not the focus of this blog – we’re stepping into 2023 with positivity and persistence. I, myself, am no stranger to the influence of the “new year, new me” sentiment, and I’ve also felt the shame of not fulfilling my new years’ resolutions. But over the years, I’ve picked up a couple of tips that help me (and hopefully, you, after you read this) stay motivated to fulfill every goal I set for myself in the new year. Disclaimer: I’m no expert, and I’m far from perfect, but I hope these tips will get you at least one step closer to achieving your 2023 goals.
So, here are my top five tips for staying motivated and actually keeping your new years’ resolutions in 2023!
1. Choose goals that are attainable
My first tip is one that comes into play before we start to actually do anything related to our goals, and it’s to choose resolutions that are attainable. In the past, I tended to choose resolutions that exemplified where I ultimately wanted to be: for example, “Meditate every morning”, or “No spending time on my phone before bed”. Looking back, I realize that these were the end goals, but there were steps I was missing along the way – and while it may work for some people to set that high-end, ultimate goal and work towards it, in my case, I needed to break things down and set goals that I knew I could achieve in the short-term, to keep myself motivated.
This meant being real with myself and understanding what I could and couldn’t do. While I probably wouldn’t reach the goal of meditating every morning right away, meditating twice a week definitely seemed doable. And putting a specific cap to my phone-time (i.e. 30 minutes) before bed was a great first step in reaching the goal of no phone at all before bed.
While these smaller, more practical goals might not seem life-changing, or worthy of being a new years’ resolution, they’re steps in the right direction. They’re feasible enough that we can maintain them throughout the first few months of the new year. Then, once we’ve gotten into the habit of fulfilling these smaller goals, we can build on them until we ultimately reach our end goal. (So, maybe my choice of gif isn’t completely accurate – the goat jumps to his end goal in one swift, effortless attempt. But he’s cute, right?)
2. Track progress
Tracking your progress is essential in achieving your new years’ goals. Failing to track my progress left a huge question mark in my overall journey. When I started goal-setting, I treated goals as black or white, and isolated: had I meditated twice this week? If yes: great, checkmark. If not: slap on the wrist, try again next week. But I didn’t make note of which weeks I reached my goal, and which weeks I didn’t. I also had no data about the weeks in between, when I maybe reached one meditation, or went beyond and meditated more than that.
Tracking progress allows you to see the bigger picture, and helps you recognize milestones or issues in your journey. Had I tracked my progress, I might’ve noticed a pattern in the weeks when I missed my goal – maybe they were weeks when I was really stressed or had a lot going on. And I would’ve been able to get a clearer look at when I started to find my rhythm and actually improve towards my goal. These things are crucial in your overall journey, because being able to pinpoint and solve issues, and recognize how far you’ve come, keep you motivated in the long run.
3. Make things fun
New years’ resolutions are a pretty serious feat, but that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate some fun into them. I used to approach my resolutions with such intensity that they were like chores; I didn’t see them as anything other than tasks I had to check off my list. In retrospect, if I had made things fun, it wouldn’t have been difficult to work towards my goals.
A great idea I’ve picked up along the way is to make your new years’ resolutions into a game of sorts: for example, creating a BINGO card out of your goals and indulging in some kind of “treat yourself” moment once you’ve crossed off a line. Adding the element of a game (and with that, rewards/prizes) to your resolutions is a great way to stay motivated and to keep things enjoyable. Speaking from personal experience, knowing I was working towards not only healthy habits, but a reward for myself (i.e. a new film camera), kept me well motivated.
4. Don’t beat yourself up if you falter
A brilliant artist once sang: “Nobody’s perfect, I gotta work it again and again ‘til I get it right”, and she was absolutely correct. Yup, I’m quoting Hannah Montana here, but she has a point – we often forget that we aren’t perfect people, so the path to attaining our new years’ resolutions won’t be a smooth and polished one. There will be days where you falter, and weeks where you weren’t even close to reaching your goal, but it’s all part of the process. (Put that on a t-shirt, won’t you?)
5. Surround yourself with support
My last tip is to find people who will back you; people that will hold you accountable, and keep you motivated when you can’t find motivation within yourself. In other words, find yourself a rockstar support group.
Here’s a real life, personal story of my own: last year, I set a goal to read 50 books for the year. The year prior to this, I had read a whopping 20, so on the surface, this goal was looking like it would be tough to achieve. And I know, I know – this already contradicts goal number one, to set attainable goals. But the thing is, I knew this was an attainable goal for myself. I used to be a reading machine that could finish 10+ books a month, no problem. I wanted to get back to that version of myself, so I set my goal, and turned to a group of friends (our group chat was dubbed “Book Lovers”, after Emily Henry’s esteemed novel) to help keep me accountable. We would pick books to read together, set deadlines, and discuss our thoughts after completing the book. We’d have daily conversations about other books we were reading, and we’d stay up-to-date with each others’ reading goals. All of this helped me to read more than I ever have, and I’m happy to report that I achieved my goal of 50 books in 2022 – in fact, I surpassed it, and read 85!
This story goes to show that having a group of people who are driven and willing to push you in the right direction can help you reach any goal. Plus, it ties in with tip four: it makes things a little more fun when you have a group of friends to talk about your goals with.
Do more with Humi
And with that, I’ll leave you to it: to set your attainable goals, make things fun, find your support group, and work towards being the best version of yourself in 2023. I’m rooting for you!
Psst… if you’re looking for that awesome group of people to help you grow and flourish in 2023, I’ve got just the place for you! Visit Humi’s careers page to see our current open roles. I promise you’ll find more than just work at Humi – you’ll find respect, support, and a chance to flourish. Aka, everything you need to make this year one for the books!