Around this time of year we start talking about the things we want to achieve in the new year (pay off that credit card, drink less, do more cultural things blah blah blah) and turns out you actually have a list a mile long of things you're going to accomplish.
The best way to keep your willpower engaged and growing is to set small positive goals and changes rather than a big blanket one and gradually build on your smaller goals.
Approaching your goals with a 'smaller steps' strategy gives you the best chance to achieve success.
Try these tips to make sure you keep your resolutions this year (no matter how big or small!)
1. Set inch pebbles, not miles
It's time to be realistic about your goal setting. Goals are great! They keep you motivated and focused with a plan but remember, slow and steady wins the race!
Nothing great or lasting is achieved overnight, focus on your NSVs (non-scale victories) too, which is something that isn't necessarily on your goal list, but something worth celebrating. The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make your goal unachievable.
It is not realistic to vow to NEVER eat chocolate again because you're setting yourself up for failure. Instead, aim for something a little more attainable, like your beloved chocolate is now your treat meal instead of your everyday meal.
Write down the things you want to achieve and write down the steps you need to achieve them. Doesn't matter what it is, write it down, make a plan and stick to it.
2. Shout it from the rooftops!
Don't keep your resolutions a secret! Tell the world about it, especially those family and friends who will be there to support you.
Best case scenario? You find a pal with a similar goal and have a motivation buddy to support you. All of a sudden, that half marathon doesn't feel as scary.
3. Reward yourself
And not with food. Celebrate your successes and goal-smashing with something that doesn't contradict your resolution, bonus points if it brings you some "me minutes" too.
Paint your nails, go and see that movie you wanted or grab a girlfriend and walk and gossip.
4. Make your bed every morning
I know you're thinking 'Oh Tiff, don't be silly, how does this relate back to New Year Resolutions?' Well, there is method to my madness I promise. I'm not talking a full change and washing of sheets.
I'm talking straightening up that doona and fixing those pillows. Making your bed is excellent for productivity. If you achieve this first thing in the morning, even though it feels a little trivial, it will set your tone for the day.
You have already accomplished one thing! Now onto the next goal.
5. Three-hour reset
Don't beat yourself up if you think you slip up or you have an off day. Guess what? You're a person who needs to live their life too. My three-hour reset rule applies to everything.
If you slip up, that's okay. For example, you eat that office birthday cake and then feel terrible after. Cake is great! Enjoy the cake. Then, three hours later you reset and restart and it doesn't mean the whole day is a write-off.
6. Track city
Make sure you keep track of every large goal smashed and every NSV achieved. Celebrating your shorter term goals will help keep you motivated with those longer term goals.
Keep a fitness journal and try and outdo your own planking PB, reward yourself as you keep track with your food journal.
7. Channel your inner Energizer Bunny (keep going and going…)
Even when it feels impossible, the trick is to stick with your resolution even when it feels like you're getting nowhere fast (or at all).
It's a FACT that it takes 21 days for something to become a habit and 6 months for it to become part of your personality.
It won't happen overnight but it will happen with persistence, patience and a not-giving-up 'tude. If you find you run out of steam by February, don't throw in the towel!
Start over on a smaller scale: recommit yourself for 24 hours, 'cause you can do ANYTHING for 24 hours. The 24 hours will soon build on each other and before you know it, your 24 hours is a whole week and you're back on track.
Bonus round: No more excuses
Schedule your goal to be part of your daily routine. If it's exercise-based, grab yourself a buddy and get moving!
You're much more likely to stick to your plan if you have someone right there to check in with.
You don't have to spend hours in the gym, you can do a TIFFXO session or try something new and different; ride a bike, go to a dance class or finally go and do that hike you've been thinking about.
Make it something you enjoy and you'll starting seeing those benefits.
Tiffiny Hall is the founder of TIFFXO, an author, expert trainer, journalist and television personality, best known for her role as trainer on The Biggest Loser Australia.