Although it’s common to set out new goals at the start of the year, those resolutions are often broken by the time spring rolls around.
If you’re wondering how to get back on track, now is the perfect time to acknowledge the achievements you’ve already made this year and to start planning out the next few months.
It’s customary to pick the goal you want to focus on for the year in January. However, these resolutions rarely last. A study found that around two-thirds of people break their new year’s resolutions within a month.
Failure is the best way to learn, so forgive yourself if you strayed from your plan and pinpoint what led you to fail.
A common obstacle to reaching your goals is a lack of discipline. Luckily, it could be easy to fix. Rather than attempting to change several aspects of your lifestyle at once, change them one at a time. Although some people are capable of completely overhauling their lives, it’s much easier to introduce new habits to your routine one at a time.
For example, if you wanted to lose weight and start managing your finances better, start with a slow approach. Rather than setting unachievable goals – such as running 10 miles every day or saving twice as much money than you were doing previously – pick small, achievable goals.
Once you’ve established a routine of going on a 15-minute run every day or putting money away every month, you can work your way up to more challenging and ambitious goals.
Making a new year’s resolution can feel like an expectation, rather than a fun way to celebrate the upcoming year. When you have a deadline to meet, your plans might be rushed or based on a goal that you aren’t truly interested in.
On the other hand, setting new goals in spring gives you more time to consider your options. The more thought you invest in your plans, the more likely you are to achieve your objectives. And, when you’re forced to put more time into thinking about how you’ll be spending your year, you’re less likely to strive for a goal that isn’t important to you.
The change in season brings fairer weather and more hours of sunlight, which can boost your happiness and motivation. With motivation comes inspiration and passion, driving you to work harder to keep your resolutions.
A study discovered that symptoms such as trouble sleeping, feelings of sadness, and a lack of motivation can all be traced back to the winter season. These winter blues impact up to 20% of the population, and around 2% suffer from the more serious seasonal affective disorder (SAD) due to the shorter days and bad weather.
Setting new goals while being affected by the winter blues could lead to you being under-ambitious or failing at the first hurdle due to a lack of motivation. Most of these feelings have been burnt away by the spring sun by this time of the year, so it’s the perfect time to start looking forward.
If you intend to set new goals for this year, then you can bypass most of the winter season by achieving your goals by December and avoiding the dreaded January and February weather. Allowing yourself a few weeks off around the holidays will also ensure that you aren’t starting the year burnt out.
If you haven’t broken your new year’s resolution yet – or if you didn’t make one in the first place – you might be wondering how useful setting new goals will be to you, especially since we’re already partway through the year.
It’s important to focus on your future. Just because you’ve stayed on track so far, it doesn’t mean you won’t face obstacles later on.
That’s why you should assess the plan you’ve made so far. What about it would you find easy? What part will you struggle to follow? Adapt your goals to fit with any new information or experiences you’ve received, and the updated blueprint will move you even closer to your ambitions.
There are still two-thirds of the year left. And if you don’t think you can achieve your goals in eight months, create a longer-term plan instead.