Most of us go into the New Year with big plans about all the amazing changes we’re going to make to our health. However, these big plans often get left behind within the first couple of weeks. Somehow, we just can’t stay true to our self-care resolutions. Once February rolls around, we’ve usually all but given up on our self-care resolutions.
This happens for a lot of reasons – our self-care goals can be un-measurable, unaffordable, or just plain demotivating. So how can you approach your goals for the year differently? With the right attitude, a budget-friendly mindset, and a serious dose of planning, you can stay true to your resolutions all year long. Here’s a look at how you can commit to your goals and stay true to your self-care resolutions:
Make Them Attainable
Your first step is making sure the goals you set are reachable. Too often, we have these big aspirations that aren’t necessarily reasonable for our current state. For example, someone might resolve to buy a new car by the end of the year, even though they don’t have the budget to reach it. Or, someone might resolve to run a marathon before the year is up, but simply not have enough room in their schedule to manage training.
The problem with these kinds of goals isn’t just that you can’t reach them; it’s that once you realize that, you’re a lot more likely to give up entirely than to simply reevaluate and go for something more realistic. Look at your goals critically from the beginning, and adjust them to fit your situation. So, in our example, instead of planning for a marathon, you could plan to do several 5k runs.
Fit It Into Your Budget
You may need certain things you don’t already have to reach your goal, but they don’t have to break the bank. Take our 5k example: Do you need to buy affordable running shoes? If so, you should search online for deals and discounts on women’s footwear, for example, or opportunities for cashback. If you’re trying to lose weight, you may want to reallocate more money toward groceries and less toward restaurants. Keeping your goals affordable is a vital step toward maintaining them.
Another important aspect of reaching your goals is making sure they’re specific. Too often, we come up with vague goals. Take “I’d like to be healthier,” for example. On the surface, it’s a great goal – who doesn’t want to be healthier? But if you dig in, you start to see issues. What does being healthier mean? How will you know when you’ve reached it? Goals like this often lead people to spend a lot of money reaching some unattainable image of “health” that may or may not relate to any medical metric.
Instead, come up with something measurable and specific, such as “I’m going to lose 10 pounds,” or “I’m going to improve my blood pressure.” These are goals you can track, point to, and objectively say, “I did it.” Being able to see your progress ensures that you can maintain motivation and gives you the ability to recognize when you’ve gone off track. Which brings us to…
Measure Your Progress
Schedule specific points throughout the year to check in on how you’re doing with your resolutions. This can be monthly, weekly, or even daily if you think that will be motivating. The important part is finding time to reflect on your progress and see what you should keep doing, or how you can improve. You can even consider buying a tracker (or a less expensive option is making a DIY chart) to get a visual of how far you’ve come. These kinds of motivational tools can go a long way toward getting you where you want to be.
Remember: The only person who can get you to your goals is you. Be wary of anyone who says they have the answers – especially if those answers come with a hefty price tag. Check in on your progress, be honest with yourself, and keep moving forward all year long. Even if you don’t reach your goal, you’ll be better for the journey.