Happy New Year! What better time to reflect on your past year and formulate your goals for the year ahead than now? Choosing your resolutions for the New Year might be easy, but sticking to them is often stressful and challenging. We start with good intentions, but between living up to our expectations and maintaining consistency, the pressure can become enough to make us throw in the towel. Here are five tips to keep your New Year’s resolutions stress-free and more successful.

Be Realistic

It’s easy to get excited about setting lofty goals we’d like to reach by the end of the year. But don’t let that excitement keep you from setting realistic and attainable goals. Stress can pile on when you bite off more than you can chew. Think about your expectations with your resolutions. Are they realistically in line with your current schedule? Can you fully commit to it? Is the timeline appropriate? Are you starting small with something you can build upon as you go? Starting with realistic expectations will help you feel better about the daily effort of working towards your goals.

Change Your Perspective

Keeping up with resolutions can result in feeling pressure, anxiety, frustration, and more. We often create stressful situations due to our perspective towards our goals. Whenever we feel like quitting, try stepping back to change our perspective. Rather than feeling upset or stressed about the demands or slip-ups along the way, start thinking about how much you’ve accomplished. Remind yourself of all the things that make you feel grateful. If one route toward your goal isn’t working, brainstorm other ways to reach it. Keep an eye out for opportunities in your journey rather than zoning in on the obstacles.

Stick to Your Values

We set our goals and start strong, then wonder why the motivation fades and feelings of defeat creep in. As you set resolutions, make sure they align with your values. Objectives that we hold valuable are ones that we prioritize. As we stick to these values, we find more intrinsic motivation and purpose tied to them. We start working towards our resolutions because they have more meaning to us and our sense of purpose. If you’re lacking motivation with your goals, ask yourself what you value about them. While this won’t make reaching your goals effortless, it will make them much less stressful to stick to.

Personalize It

New Year’s resolutions aren’t one size fits all. Too often, we get caught up in making goals based on current trends or what we see other people doing. While that doesn’t mean we can’t make similar goals, it does mean that we should still focus on personalizing them. You’ll find it much less stressful sticking to goals that align with your values, personality, schedule, and season of life. As your schedules shift, keep adjusting your approach to fit your needs.

Consistency vs Perfection

One of the most stressful things about resolutions is feeling like you’re missing the mark. We’re ready to give up if we miss a day or when things don’t go according to plan. If it feels impossible to maintain goals perfectly, that’s because it is impossible. Life happens. If you expect to hit your goal 100% of the time, you’ll likely end up disappointed quickly. As you plan and work towards your goals, remember that consistency will always lead to more success than perfection. If you’re striving towards long-term habits, focus on being consistent. Slow and steady always wins the race!

Continue Reading January 2024 Newsletter: Setting SMART Goals for the New Year