January is always a good month for behavioral economics: Few things illustrate self-control as vividly as New Year’s resolutions. February is even better, though, because it lets us study why so many of those resolutions are broken.
New Years resolutions are here to stay and there is nothing you can do about it. Or is there? Lets talk about new systems you can create to see out the new year.
Unique ways you can conquer your goals:
1. TRACK YOUR GOALS EFFECTIVELY
Neuro-psychologists all agree that writing down your goals matter. The act of writing fires off signals in brain that attach memories to what you are writing. This doesn’t mean that you will remember everything you write but you will remember that you wrote a goal down somewhere and this may be all you need for an extra boost of encouragement.
For me, I have created a habit of writing my goals and keeping them in places I can find. I write my goals down in my daily journal and I see them every day. I use the “Bullet Journal” method which helps me move my incomplete goals around. I primarily use it because my ADHD brain can’t function within the covers of a traditional journal. This journaling style allows you to do whatever you want in the journal and move sections of it when you need to. Here is a fantastic article on how to make a bullet journal: https://littlecoffeefox.com/ultimate-bullet-journal-cheat-sheet/
2. BE FLEXIBLE AND FORGIVING
Failing a goal is not a good feeling. In fact, it is the exact opposite of a good feeling. It sucks. When you fail any step in your goal you must fight being derailed. Flexibility and forgiveness are necessary to move one more step forward. Micro-failure will tear apart the “New Year New You” goals you have made. Do not give into the anger, resentment, and depression that comes with failure. Forgive yourself and remember that you can still tread onward.
Being able to move your goals around and having a new opportunity to conquer them is vital to your success. Make sure your new system works for you. The Bullet Journal I talked about earlier is a great tool but there are phone apps, books, and products that can work for your personality.
When you fail, which you will, you must find it in yourself to forgive yourself and remain motivated. This is what separates the successful from the failures. Take a breath and try again.
3. DO IT NOW
If you feel like you should have done it then you need to do it now. The hardest part of accomplishing goals is overcoming regret but the easiest way to overcome regret is to just do it. Skipped your workout because you slept in and are bumming out on the couch watching Greys Anatomy? Turn it off and go to the gym.
Life isn’t lists fit into time slots. Life is fluid and ever changing. This means the time for our goals need to be changing, as well. Your goal has to be a priority in your life so get off that couch and step onto the elliptical!
Every step is important and this is what will keep you going into February.
4. REVISIT YOUR GOALS EVERY MONTH
It is really important to revisit your goals and see if they are realistic for you. An average individual will not drop 30lbs in a month. Try 6. You will not save $5k in 3 weeks (Unless you are my friend, Justice, who saves more money than he makes somehow). You will need to sit down and write out your big goals and little steps toward them every month. Life is fluid, remember?