New Year’s Resolutions & Goal Setting
We start the new year with bright eyes and big ambitions, but we often make resolutions in January and forget about them after a few weeks. I know this has been true for me multiple times in the past. New Year’s Resolutions can be motivating and a great starting point to reaching your goals for the coming year. However, I dislike the arbitrary start date of January 1st.
If you want to set a goal, or do a challenge, or try something new, you can start any time!
We are 3 months into the year, and we have 9 months left in 2021 to develop new habits, build new routines, and succeed with our resolutions. I thought it would be a great time to reflect on my own resolutions for the year and give some tips and encouragement for reevaluating your resolutions and putting systems in place to achieve your goals! Join me in this fun challenge of the month by sharing your goals and progress in the comments section of this post or in the comments section of my YouTube video. You can also participate by posting your progress on social media, tagging me – @plantfitmeg and using the hashtags #accountableapril and #plantfitmeg! I’ll be sharing my progress as well!
Steps to Achieving Your Goals
1. Reflect on Your Resolutions
Maybe you are one of the few people who made a resolution, stuck with it, and you have already achieved your goal or are well on your way. If so, way to go! Keep going!
If you’re having a harder time with your resolutions, consider what your resolution was and ask yourself whether the resolution you made is still important to you. If you decide it’s not as important as it once was, think about what IS important to you and what goals you would like to achieve in the remainder of the year. Reassess and make a new goal and new plans to achieve it.
I wrote a post about my New Year’s Resolutions (+ 5 Healthy Weight Loss Tips). I called my resolutions my Areas of Focus for 2021, and they were:
- Weight Loss Maintenance
- Find Balance – Mental and Emotional Health
- Get Stronger – Lifting Weights, Calisthenics
In looking back at these broad areas of focus, these are still resolutions that resonate with me that I will continue to work on.
2. Evaluate How You’re Doing
Check in with how you’re doing at the present moment. For a weight loss goal, this may look like weighing yourself, measuring yourself, taking progress photos, and/or assessing how your clothing fits and feels. For a fitness goal, it may look like tracking your strength, endurance, and/or speed. No matter what the resolution was, check in with whether or not you’re doing what you set out to do.
3. Break Long-Term Goals into Short-Term Goals
New Years Resolutions often fail because the goal was too lofty or abstract. Having a goal is great, but how are you going to get from point A to point Z? Start with point A to point B! Make gradual changes: replace old habits with new ones, be patient, and build new routines incrementally.
4. Make a Plan / Build Habits into Your Schedule
I made the mistake of not being more clear about my intentions with my resolutions, and the habits and routines that would lead me to achieving them. There was also a lot going on in January with the pandemic and lockdowns in my area – not to make excuses, but life happens and sometimes our goals take a back seat to an immediate concern that needs to be addressed. (For me it was helping my son with e-learning at home, being forced out of regular routines, and feeling isolated. More on that here if you’re interested.)
I have decided to commit to running and doing calisthenics a minimum of 3 days per week for the month of April. I will schedule it around my other commitments so that I make my goals a priority. I have also decided to post more “What I Eat in a Day” content to keep me on track with planning my meals, prepping foods, and being more aware and mindful of my eating habits.
5. Layer New Habits Over Time / Reassess and Make New Goals as Needed
Two weeks into the month, I plan to reevaluate and assess how I’m doing with #accountableapril. Maybe I will need to tweak what I’m doing at that point, or I may even be able to layer another habit into my routine. Once you have momentum and mastery over one habit, you can go ahead and layer another one into your routine. If something is not working with your plan, and you’re having a hard time being consistent, it may be time to reevaluate and make changes as needed.
6. Give Yourself Credit for Your Success
When you achieve a goal, enjoy it! Try to stay in the present moment and be proud of your achievement! It can be easy to achieve what you set out to do and then think that what you did wasn’t good enough or that you need to do more. I experienced this when I started running and achieved my first big goal. In the beginning, I couldn’t imagine ever being able to run a 5km (3.1 mi) race. After training for a couple of months and building slowly on my runs, I was able to complete a 5km race. I was proud to have finished the race, but shortly thereafter started to feel as if it wasn’t good enough – wasn’t fast enough – wasn’t far enough. It can be hard to give ourselves a pat on the back. I encourage you to think of an achievement as if it happened to someone else and how you might respond. This strategy has worked wonders for me as I’m much more apt to give high praise and genuinely be proud of others over being proud of myself and giving myself credit and praise. This is a practice, but like anything, practice makes progress, and it does get a bit easier over time.
7. Find an Accountability Buddy
My best friend and I started running together as terrified newbies back in 2016. We bumbled our way through it together, and made our way to running several 5km races over the years. She is still my accountability buddy even though we now live in different cities. Try to find someone to share your experience with. It helps so much to have the support of someone else and to share ideas, discuss the challenges, the wins, and how things are progressing. It can be difficult to find an accountability buddy with the pandemic going on, but there are many supportive communities online for different goals. The Plant Fit Meg community – website, YouTube channel and social media are great resources for information about plant-based weight loss, switching to a plant-based diet, and simple healthy recipes. I would love to connect with you about how your New Years Resolutions are going and what goals you have for April and for the rest of 2021!
I’m here to encourage you and to say, “You got this!” Feel free to leave comments below this post, on my YouTube channel or elsewhere on social media (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok). Tag me (@plantfitmeg) and use the hashtags #accountableapril and #plantfitmeg so I can keep up with your progress! I’ll be sharing my progress as well; we’re all in this together! Here’s to an awesome #accountableapril and a renewed desire to create new habits and build new routines in order to achieve our goals!