The first day of January marks a clean slate. From social media platforms to household kitchens, people are repeating the same mantra: “new year, new me!” The gym is packed with endorphins, positive attitudes, and looks of determination in the eyes of treadmill walkers as they start their journey to get fit. In the office, color-coded planners and meticulously programmed cell phone reminders promise that this is the year to finally get it together.
In addition to hitting the gym and getting organized, the new year often inspires people to make a career move, learn something different, or spend more time with family and friends. Resolutions always begin with a positive outlook; however, maintaining that energy throughout the rest of the year is much more difficult. Here are three steps to help your New Year’s resolution come true:
- Be realistic and channel your energy
The prospect of a fresh start is exciting! That blank slate is begging to be filled with all the wonderful changes you want to make. It’s tempting to conjure up a giant list of resolutions for the new year, hoping to be the best version of yourself right away. Make sure you don’t create a list of empty promises; harness that energy and dedicate it to a specific place. Pledging to change everything at once sets you up for burnout and failure. Instead, fully commit to one large goal or a few small, easily-attainable goals. Imagine what 365 days of exclusive effort could accomplish.
- Make your goal measurable
Sweeping statements are hard to track and easy to forget or even disregard. Some goals are too subjective, fitness being one example. What does “get fit” mean? Ask five different people and you’ll probably end up with five different answers. Everyone has a different starting point with a different result in mind. When you write down your resolution, it’s important to ensure that whatever you hope to accomplish is concrete and has a target date. These two elements help you work toward something specific and keep you accountable. For example, instead of “get fit,” try “I want to lose 30 pounds by next January.” Now you have a goal that you can easily track, setting you up to determine steps for success.
- Create a strategy and celebrate victories along the way
It’s liberating to write that big goal down. At first, you’re fully confident that this is the year you’ll achieve it. However, as the days start to roll by and you hit your first plateau, the end starts to feel impossible to reach. If you aren’t careful, self-doubt is quick to creep in, so be proactive and break your goal down into manageable steps. Determine a few different phases needed to get to your result, then create a detailed plan to integrate each one into your routine. Losing 30 pounds by next January might start to feel a little unattainable if it’s July and you’ve lost only two pounds. Instead, start a list beginning with steps as simple as “join the gym” and “create a meal plan.”
As you cross off each step and work your way down the list, the goal won’t feel as far away. If you start to feel discouraged, you can look back at all the steps you’ve already crossed off and have pride in the effort you’ve made. That exercise is the perfect way to hit “restart” on your willpower and continue pursuing your goal.
Resolutions vary from personal to professional, but the three steps to create a workable mindset for success remain the same.
If your resolution relates to your medical career, you may want to contact a respected staffing company, like Optimum Permanent Placement to speak with a knowledgeable recruiter to learn more about possibilities for your next move.