Friday Fit Five
Five Ways to Get Your Resolve Back
It’s only been about six weeks since you made your New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps you are doing great. Perhaps your motivation is waning. Or maybe you’re just not as far along as you’d planned. Wherever you stand in relation to your resolutions, here are five ways to get back on track toward achieving your goals in 2017.
1. Know you are not alone. Truth be told, about 40 percent of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions by the end of January. And by midyear, nearly 60 percent will stop moving toward their goals. Clearly, most of us need some helpful guidance to craft, work on and achieve our resolutions.
2. Re-evaluate and reconnect with your goal. Reflect on the reasons you set this goal in the first place. Was it to have more energy, earn more money, be a kinder person, improve a relationship? Sit quietly and focus on how achieving this goal will make you feel. Happy? Proud? Energized? Loved? On a daily basis, as you think of your goal, shift your focus to how great achieving it will make you feel, rather than the amount of time or energy you will need to achieve it. While it is important to stay positive, some people (like me) are also motivated by the possible negative outcome of not achieving a goal. If you find it helpful, consider what life will be like and how you will feel if you do not stick with your resolution.
3. Be flexible and give yourself a break. If you find that you are not motivated after trying to reconnect with your goal, then perhaps it is not the right goal. Be flexible and adjust how your goal is defined until it motivates you. Continue this flexible attitude as you work toward your goal throughout the year. A lot can change in a year, so your goal may need to change as well. It is not failure; it is smart. Perhaps most importantly, give yourself a break if you do not stay on track each and every day. Life happens. If yesterday did not move you toward your goal, then acknowledge it and make the effort today.
4. Be realistic. There are only 24 hours in a day and you need about eight of them for sleep. That leaves you 16 hours a day to live your life, handle your work and home responsibilities, keep your resolutions, do everything else that you need and want to do — and ideally, have a bit of downtime to rejuvenate. Ensure that you have not set yourself up to fail with a given New Year’s resolution. If, for example, you want to exercise five days a week for an hour but your days are packed with work, parenting and networking, that plan may not be possible. Compare the amount of time you have available with the time you need to keep your resolution. If they do not sync, then you need to adjust your schedule. You could drop an activity, modify your resolution so that it requires less time — or both.
5. Ask for help. One of the best ways to make time available for achieving your goal is asking others for help. Are there activities at work you can delegate to free up some extra time? Can someone else pick up your child from school and drop her off at art class to give you an extra hour one day a week? Are there some things you can just not do, or can pay someone else to do?
Asking for help can also mean surrounding yourself with people who motivate you or increase the efficiency of achieving your resolution. If a friend or colleague has a similar resolution, perhaps you can work together to motivate and support each other — and provide a caring source of accountability. Maybe a personal trainer or life coach can help you focus your goal and work proficiently so that every step is moving you in the right direction. Make the most of your time by utilizing helpful resources.
Now get out there and get on track!
Jamie Spannhake is a lawyer, mediator and certified health coach. She is a partner at Berlandi Nussbaum & Reitzas LLP, serving clients in New York and Connecticut, practicing in the areas of commercial litigation, estate planning, residential and commercial real estate, and business transactions. She writes and speaks on issues of interest to lawyers, including time and stress management, health and wellness, work-life balance, and effective legal writing.
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