Without fail, thousands of people set themselves up for a new life every January, “New Year, New You!” and all of that. It’s great, we should all always strive to be the best versions of ourselves, but unfortunately with big, sweeping resolutions come a lot of pitfalls to halt our progress. This time on the PROZE higher education blog, we wanted to point out 5 of the most common New Year’s Resolution pitfalls, so you can avoid making the same mistakes and get the results you’re working for.
5 New Year’s Resolution Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them!
Making General Goals
Making your New Year’s resolution too general is a surefire way to fail. When the aim is vague, you’ll never be able to know if you really accomplished it or even if you’re taking the right steps you need. Think like this: general or vague goals are like fog. You can see the edges of it, you know about where it is, but you can’t see the path through it.
Instead, make specific, well-defined goals. If you want to Be Healthier, bring your vision into focus: I will go for a walk every day. To go back to our analogy, the more specific your goals, the more details you can see. Instead of fog, it’s a clear path. You know what you need to do to succeed.
Making Unrealistic Expectations
Sometimes the whole New Year, New You thing can sweep people away. They decide to make some seriously big goals. That’s great, but know that the more grand, extravagant, or serious the change, the harder it is to meet it. When you decide you’re going to lose 200lbs this year the progress you -do- make can feel negligible – and when you feel like you’re not making progress, you’re more likely to quit entirely.
Having Half-Assed Plans
Similar to general goals, the problem can be one of planning or lack thereof. When you’re making a big goal for yourself, you need to spend the time to chart a pathway to success! Having a goal but not knowing how you are going to achieve it leaves too many places for the ‘plan’ to go wrong.
Instead of: ‘I’m going to work out more, whenever I have the time,’ plan: ‘I will work out after work, 3 days a week at the gym. I will do workouts X and Y.’ The less you leave to chance later, the easier it is to stick to your plans, and the more likely you are to meet your goals!
Failing to Overcome Ambivalence
Having a resolution and truly wanting to change can be two very different things. Remember that with whatever behavior or lifestyle facet you’re looking to change, there’s good and bad associated with it. Remind yourself of the reasons you want to change and the ways that this change will help you become the person you want to be.
Motivating with Negativity
Telling yourself that you need to lose weight because you are fat, or that you need to save more money because you are terrible with finances can be counterproductive. When you’re framing your mindset poorly like this, there is actual evidence to suggest you could be putting yourself in a self-fulfilling cycle of failure. Break out of these negative ruts and build yourself up! You’re making this resolution because you are better and more capable than you give yourself credit, and you can make it a reality!
Keep these pitfalls in mind, plan accordingly, and adjust your goals. With this clearer map, set plans, and a positive approach you’ll be able to reach your dreams! You’re a PRo!
Goals are meant to be motivating, not points of failure when they’re not met. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t quite reach them, you’re still improving, still working towards something, and that’s a whole lot better than sitting stagnant!