Volare | December 2020 Newsletter
New year, same me?
How to stay committed to your new year’s resolutions?
Have you ever wondered what makes new year’s so motivating? Are you receiving more ads or emails than usual telling you about fitness, diet, and lifestyle deals?
Many people start making new year resolutions during this time in an effort to start the year in a new light. According to the fresh start effect, temporal landmarks often act as an external motivator for people to take action towards their goals. These landmarks can be anything from the beginning of a new year, new month, new semester, to more personal days such as birthdays, anniversaries, and coming back from a vacation.
This effect gives us the chance to disconnect ourselves from past mistakes and imperfections and look forward to the aspirations we make to better ourselves. We think about our ideal selves as a whole and a new year helps us feel more confident about the person we can become.
Now, the biggest struggle is actively working towards our resolutions throughout the year. If you haven’t had the chance to make your new year’s resolution a habit, here are a few tips you can try to make it count in 2021.
1. Set clear goals and behaviors
One of the most common mistakes people make in setting goals is making vague goals. These types of goals don’t provide you with a clear way to measure your progress and make it easier for you to neglect it completely after a short period of time.
When goal-setting, a great way to think about it is by identifying some of the behaviors you would associate with a certain goal. For example, let’s say one of your goals is to lose weight. A behavior you might associate it with is exercise. Here, you’d be able to identify the type of exercise you want to pursue, how much time for exercising you can allocate each day, the number of times a week, and slowly incorporate this behavior into your lifestyle.
There can be multiple behaviors associated with a goal. Start by applying one behavior slowly over time. Once it becomes more of a habit, you can begin thinking about bringing another behavior into your life.
2. Tracking your progress
Reflecting on the progress you have made on your goals is crucial to understanding how close you are to achieving them.
Since temporal landmarks can be a big motivator, setting time aside on those landmarks can be a great way for you to reflect on what has been working for you and what hasn’t. You can decide on any landmark that works best for you, whether it is the beginning of each month, week, or a personal day.
There are also many dedicated habit, fitness, and productivity tracking apps, such as Trello, Done, Fitness Pal, and Tally, that you can utilize to help hold you accountable.
3. Changing your surroundings
Much like developing the behaviors and steps for your goals, a change in the space and items you use every day can also add more emphasis to the fresh start effect and make you feel like a different person. These can be things from getting a haircut or cleaning your email inbox to buying a new desk or moving furniture around your living space. Even a new outfit can be a great addition to your fresh start.
4. Staying confident
Having confidence is the belief that you possess the skills and qualities to achieve your goals and overcome obstacles. This can look different for everyone, but ultimately, it is about what makes you feel good. What have you been doing that makes you feel confident? What environments do you feel most confident in? How can you bring these factors into situations where you may not feel as confident?
If you are looking to stretch your confidence into more areas of your life, try identifying some of the factors or social settings where you have felt a sense of self-doubt creeping in. What about these events cause you to feel less confident? How do you tend to react when put in these situations? What do these events have in common?
Once you identify those, you understand how these events affect your confidence levels and become more tangible concepts you can tackle over time.
End of year reflection
- What have you accomplished in 2020?
- What were the five biggest lessons you learned in 2020?
- What are you grateful for in 2020?
- How are you different from 2020 and 2019?
- What advice would you give yourself for 2021?
- What are 5 things you can improve in 2021? How will you get there?
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