Do you have a New Year’s resolution? How do you plan to stick it out?
January marks a turning point in our personal and professional lives; an opportunity to shed bad habits with last year’s calendar and re-emerge revitalised.
Whether your goal is to get fit, learn a new skill or master a business venture, motivation is the key to ploughing through challenges and holding your nerve.
Eighty per cent of New Year’s Resolutions fail by February, so follow these top tips to stay in the winning 20 per cent.
1. Start small and stay focused
Steep goals can kill your chances of success, since the bigger the mountain, the more opportunities there are for challenges to throw you off.
By setting small and manageable goals, you can break the “big picture” down into manageable chunks. If you experience a setback, it’s easier to hop back on the motivational train.
2. Bathe in positivity
When you surround yourself with positive people, their attitudes will spur you on. Motivation is contagious, so speak to successful people, watch motivational films in your downtime and listen to the music that gets your spirit pumping.
The lasting impact of positive energy can do amazing things for your future path. Simply hearing an inspirational story or a rags-to-riches tale permeates your psychology so you’re better placed to overcome adversity.
Attend – or, better still, organise – a motivational talk to spur you on through every challenge – that can be especially powerful in a business setting to inspire a team towards a new goal in the new year. Research also shows that people who feel in control of their own lives are more likely to be successful, so start shaping your attitude in positive ways.
3. Use variety to create some spice
From the workplace through to personal relationships, a mundane routine is one of the leading motivation-killers. Taking a new route to work, finding a new hobby or even changing jobs can all be great to create variety.
No matter what your goals are, avoid tunnel vision and keep your work balanced. This will keep your creativity intact and it also protects you from exhaustion.
4. Use peer pressure to your advantage
When your goals are significant, the prospect of battling alone can be daunting. By speaking your goals aloud to a partner, friend or coworker, you increase your chances of success because of accountability.
Choose a trusted peer and tell them about your goals. Scheduling time out for a coffee and a catch-up can help, since the pressure to report successes and challenges gives your goals a scope that reaches beyond your own mind.
5. Act quickly
Procrastination can kill success in more ways than you imagine. Every time you delay positive action, your end goal takes a step back. Cumulatively, this amounts to a huge delay and could set you back weeks in the long-term.
Author and speaker Mel Robbins’ ingenious 5-second rule is one way to spur yourself into action. The principle is simple: when you get an impulse, a flash of motivation or a bright idea, act on it within five seconds with a physical movement. Over time, this helps to imprint the instincts of a go-getter into your mind.
These actions can be simple: writing an idea down, saying “hello” to a stranger or sourcing your materials. The important thing is to do something – the rest will follow.