New Year’s Resolutions – How Hard Can They Be?

Having a hard time sticking to your goals? Did you make a New Year’s resolution you really want to achieve, but are worried about keeping going with it beyond the first flush of enthusiasm?

Clear goals, small steps and finding what keeps you motivated are some of the keys to sustaining those New Year’s resolutions. If you are someone who keeps on making the same resolutions, yet never quite following through, then Bow Valley PCN’s workshop, 9 Ways to Stay Motivated, can help you find new tactics for changing your habits and sticking to your goals.

Set specific goals

Shayla Roberts, the PCN’s Active Living Coordinator, who facilitates the workshop, says that the first step is to set a specific goal, something new or one that you’ve tried before but not achieved. This could be an ongoing plan to follow an exercise program, to adopt better sleep habits, to eat more veggies or a specific outcome such as quitting smoking.

“The next step is to work out what gets in the way,” says Shayla, “for example, not having enough time because of commitments to family or work. Most people are able to make commitments to others, but it’s not so easy to commit to doing something for yourself.”

Sometimes just getting started is tough and a solution can be setting small, incremental steps that contribute to a larger result. The workshop also helps participants find ways of sustaining motivation, for example, checking off daily achievements on a calendar or working with a buddy. Recognizing what rewards you is also important in maintaining impetus.

Take small steps

Another success factor is simply focusing on doing better. “All progress is important,” says Shayla. “Acknowledging each accomplishment along the way really helps. It’s easy to get stuck on achieving 100 per cent and become discouraged when that feels out of reach, so we encourage people to focus on practice not just the perfect outcome.”

At the end of the workshop, participants will have been able to explore and identify different personal practical tools to help make change achievable, while understanding the motivational messages that work best for them and being able to use them to be more successful.