Heading into resolution season, many of us don’t think too much about why last year’s promises didn’t stick. But success is all about mindset. All new habits require a bit of an adjustment. The good news is, you’ve got it within you to make it work. All you need are a few tips – not just to get you started, but to keep you going.
How to Stay the Course and Maintain Success
We generally begin new projects with a tremendous amount of enthusiasm. Somehow, this energy wanes once we’ve been at it for a little while. That’s when we stall out. Sometimes, though, all it takes is a slight adjustment in our thinking.
Here are some tips to help you keep the energy and optimism on high:
1. Don’t Give Up
This one might be a little too obvs, but you’re never going to see the results you want unless you keep at it. If you always take that one extra step, even after everyone else has fallen off the bandwagon, you’ll be that much further ahead. In a practical sense, doing the work doesn’t really take that much time out of your life. But, if you procrastinate, you’re never going to fulfill your goals.
2. You’re Never “Done”
Don’t operate under the premise that there is an end-point. Changing your habits should be a long-term project. Once you’ve reached your initial goal, it’s time to set another one. Short-term goals are far more sustainable, as you will see the results and be motivated to continue. So, set incremental goals. Each step brings you closer to the person you want to be. And what’s wrong with something is better than you initially imagined? Not too much.
3. Celebrate Your Progress
Every step counts, even if it’s just baby steps. Recognize and celebrate your progress every single day. Studies show that celebrating wins is a critical component of long-term success and happiness. Be sure to choose rewards that align with your goals. For example, if you manage to run five miles, don’t celebrate with a bottle of wine and a bowl of chips. Book a massage instead.
4. Do Something That’s Easy For You
If you try to commit yourself to a new schedule that isn’t going to fit with the rest of your life, you’re doomed right out of the gate. For example, you say you’re going to go to the gym for two hours every day, but in reality, you just don’t have time. You know how that’s going to play out. Do something doable. Walk or ride your bike to work every day; or, if that’s not logistically possible, take a walk after dinner each evening. Consistency will deliver better results than sporadic, half-baked efforts to reach an unattainable goal.
5. Keep a “Done” List
Finally, keep a list of your wins. Kind of like a to-do list, it’s more like a “done” list. This way, it’s easy to see how far you’ve come. Fill up your “done” list with every positive step forward you’ve accomplished. You’ll quickly see how the little things add up to something much bigger.
Ending the year on a high note is just the start. You’re in the home stretch, but the race is never over. With these tips, you’ll maintain your progress into the new year and beyond.
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