Making your 2021 New Year’s Resolutions is probably going to look different than all the years prior. Your budget has probably shifted due to sheltering at home for months. The need to scale down your wardrobe allowance is irrelevant after spending 2020 in sweatpants from the waist down behind a Zoom camera. One thing that might remain on your plate for 2021 New Year’s Resolutions is literally that, what’s on your plate. We’ve all heard of the freshman 15. Now more of us are dealing with the COVID 15.
Let’s take a look at how to tackle making our 2021 New Year’s Resolutions and chip away at them in the most successful way. Here are seven highlights to be mindful of when setting goals that are realistic and within reach.
1. Make attainable goals.
Set yourself up for success by making goals that you will be able to achieve. Even the smallest of goals can have the biggest rewards. If you strive to work out more, start with 30-minute increments 1-2 days a week, giving yourself a milestone to build on. If 2020 has left you in the dumps and you want to work on your mental health, consider writing a journal entry once a week and building up to 2-3 days a week. Need a mental health session, teletherapy is the way to go.
2. Write them down.
Forbes describes the neuroscience behind writing your goals down, stating that vividly describing your goals in written form is strongly associated with goal success. Writing your goals down makes them more realistic by visually seeing them whether you use words or pictures. Also, when we write things down, we use a part of our brain that transitions information to our long-term memory by level of importance. Therefore, the information about your goal is stored for reference and leads to a greater level of achievement.
3. Share with others for accountability.
If you’ve ever worked out at a gym with a partner or trainer, it is likely you choose to share that experience with another person to hold you accountable. Accountability holds you responsible for being honest in your actions and doing what is required to achieve your 2021 New Year’s Resolutions. Humans are innate people pleasers, and within that characteristic is the need to prove to others that we deserve praise for achieving what we have set out to do.
4. Positive affirmations.
One of the most popular books related to the science behind positive affirmations is called The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Positive affirmations are encouraging reminders and statements that help you embrace positive thinking and self-motivation. This method of thinking has a positive influence on greater success in reaching your goals.
The Psychological Theory Behind Positive Affirmations
One of the key psychological theories behind positive affirmations is self-affirmation theory (Steele, 1988). So, yes, there are empirical studies based on the idea that we can maintain our sense of self-integrity by telling ourselves (or affirming) what we believe in positive ways.
5. Progress, not perfection.
The key in successfully reaching your 2021 New Year’s Resolutions is to strive for progress, not perfection. Striving to make small gains towards each goal makes the process much easier and enjoyable. Focusing on progress keeps you motivated and empowered to look back on the progress you have made rather than what challenges may lie ahead.
6. Try something new each month.
Keeping your 2021 New Year’s Resolutions new and interesting can help you be successful in reaching your goals. If you want to work out more, change up your activity and routine each month. If your goal is to eat healthier, introduce a new food each month into your rotation. This could be a vegetable or nutritious shake. If trying something new each month seems drawn out and boring, you can try the “Do Something New Every Day” challenge. Here’s a link for some inspirational ideas from Myrelle Oliver.
7. Make goals around what you like.
For a goal to be successful, it has to be centered around something you enjoy. Vegans will probably not take up fishing, and a fisherman will probably not do Pilates. If you’re more into burgers and brats and less into broccoli, consider throwing a multi-vitamin into the mix rather than forcing yourself to eat tiny trees. Think about something you are currently doing and expand on it in a healthy direction.
Looking for some motivational quotes to help jump start your 2021? Check this list out that includes quotes from Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and William Shakespeare.
American Online Benefits Group offers solutions to keep your health on track. Please contact our Agent or Member Services to receive more information at 214-389-9072.