For many of us, the New Year symbolises a fresh start, a clean slate, and a new opportunity to make positive changes by setting some resolutions and goals to achieve in the year ahead.
If you're one for setting resolutions, you'll probably kick off January with an initial wave of motivation, while your goals are still clear in mind and you're determined to start the year on a good note.
But whether you've set a huge life-changing goal or working towards sticking to some smaller new habits, unfortunately this momentum doesn't tend to last very long. Research shows that approximately 80 percent of people will give up their New Year's resolutions by January 19th.
Don't let your resolutions be another abandoned addition to the statistic this year. Here are 5 simple steps you can take to help you achieve any goal you set out to reach in 2022.
1. Get really clear on your goals
When setting your New Year resolutions, it's essential that you get really clear on exactly what you want to achieve, when you want to achieve it by, and most importantly the reason why.
The best way to set your goals is to physically write them down, whether that be the good old fashioned way with pen and paper, or in your phone notes. Do what suits you and keep them in a place that you can revisit often.
Next to each resolution, write an intention of why you want to achieve these things. You need to make sure each of your goals truely matters to you and is empowering and exciting.
If you realise that your goals are coming from a place of negativity, self-loathing, or a need for acceptance by others, then it's time to reassess your goal or your mindset.
If your goal has the intention of serving you for your highest good, then it's something you'll be more willing to work hard towards and you'll be more likely to stick it out.
However when the purpose of your goal is to avoid discomfort, you're subconsciously focusing on what you don’t want. Once you're a few weeks in and far enough away from the feeling of discomfort, you're likely to relax and slip back to your old ways before you know it.
2. Set up your environment for success
Once your goals are clear, it's super helpful to engineer your environment to set you up for the best chance of success. After all, following the same old habits and routines is unlikely to lead to new outcomes.
Grammy Award winning artist and Oscar nominated actor, Will Smith, said there's one thing that separates people who achieve their New Year's resolutions from those who only dream.
"At the center of bringing any dream into fruition is self-discipline. Something as simple as food and eating is not about your body as much as it is your mind. It's getting command of your mind to be able to choose actions that are in your own best interest".
He talks about choosing your actions as a practice of discipline. If you struggle with exercising self-control, one thing you can do to help is to minimise the number of choices you make where possible, because the more choices you make, the easier it is to give in to temptations.
For example, if your goal is to start working out in the morning, you can encourage positive action for your future self by getting your activewear ready before you go to bed. This could also include booking in a fitness class, or locking in a training time with your friend, so that your actions are already planned for the morning.
As another example, your resolution may be to drink more water. You can set yourself up for success by placing a glass of water where you know you spend time, like beside your bed, at your bathroom sink, and at your desk.
Another great way to keep your goals at the top of mind is to create a list, phone background, or vision board that reminds you of the things you are working towards. You want to include things that trigger an emotional, visceral response like inspirational photos, quotes, or a motivational playlist that allow you to visualise your goals and feel like the person you want to be.
3. Take small, achievable steps each day
Setting unrealistic goals and high expectations for yourself only sets you up for failure when you can't keep the momentum going and find yourself burnt out and uninspired.
The secret to making long-term, sustainable changes is hidden in your daily routines, and the key to success is breaking down your bigger goals into a roadmap of smaller daily actions.
Do something every day that brings you closer to your goals and the best version of you that you're working towards. Each step you take adds up over time to form the big picture changes, so never underestimate the power of the little things you do each day.
To help stay on track and accountable, create a list of non-negotiable habits that you aim to tick off daily. Some examples might be, moving your body, hitting your step and water target, and getting enough sleep.
Following a daily routine might seem mundane at first, but remember, the more you push yourself to do the uncomfortable things, the easier they get in time.
Habit Stacking is a great way to implement a new activity into your routine. The idea is to piggy-back a new habit onto an existing habit.
For example, if your 2022 goal is to do a pull-up, going to the gym is most likely already a part of your regular routine. So to reach this goal, you could dedicate 5 minutes per session to pull-up practice.
Or if your goal is to start meditating this year, you should pair this activity with something you already do without a doubt each day, like with your morning coffee or once you put your phone on charge for the night.
It might seem like a slow process towards your goals, but remember to appreciate the journey and always find gratitude in the little things. If you have access to food, clean water and a healthy body, you've already got so much to be thankful for!
4. Let go of the chase for perfection
The truth is that no one's journey is absolutely perfect, and it will never go 100 percent to plan on the way to achieving your goals.
This New Year, it's time to stop sweating the small stuff and giving up after every little slip up. Don't let a bad day derail you for the rest of the week, or you'll forever be waiting until the next Monday to start over, again and again.
You have to accept that sometime's life will get in the way. You might fall sick, or you'll simply not feel like it - and that's okay. It's important to have compassion for yourself in these moments and simply get back on track as soon as possible to keep pushing towards your goals.
What really matters is your long term efforts. So while you might occasionally fail to hit your nutrition targets or skip a workout, see it as a minor setback and not a failure. When you own it, accept it and choose to pick yourself back up straight away, your resilience and will-power becomes stronger.
To wrap up Will Smith's quote from earlier, he says "Self-discipline is the center of all material success. You cannot win the war against the world if you cannot win the war against your own mind".
Reframe your mindset from dwelling on the negatives to focusing on the things you can control, like your effort, your attitude, and the daily routines you put in place.
5. Check in with yourself regularly
Setting measurable milestones and checking in with how you're tracking towards your goals is an essential part of the journey. Without clear objectives you're really just cruising along without a target, and it's more likely you'll fall off track along the way.
It can certainly feel a bit daunting to face your progress, but it's important to acknowledge the honest truth of where you're at, in relation to where you want to be.
When setting your goals, also set some dates to reflect and actively measure your progress along the way, whether that's once a week, once a month, or more often depending on the timeliness of your goals.
Your check-ins will help you assess if the processes you've put in place and steps you're taking are actually working. If you've been consistently putting in the work for a reasonable period of time and not much has changed, then you may need to be honest with yourself and reassess if your goals were unrealistic for the timeframe, or if your actions are actually aligned with what you want to achieve.
For the first time ever for our EVOLVE Challenge, we're introducing weekly check-ins in the MWU App for you to assess your progress and let us know how you're feeling.
The purpose of your check-ins is to see how your body is responding to the training and nutrition protocols we've set for you, and allows our Team of qualified dietitians to make any necessary changes to ensure you're getting the best results.
Throughout your Challenge journey you'll also receive personalised support and guidance from your Evolve Customer Care Partner if you have any questions along the way.
When checking-in with yourself, it's also important to choose metrics that actually indicate positive progress towards your goals. If your goal is to achieve weight loss for example, this doesn't mean that your success is entirely dependant on the numbers on the scales going down.
Acknowledge when you feel an emotional response to your physical measurements, and recognise that it's purely data, not a determinant of your worth in any capacity.
Make time throughout the year to reassess your goals to make sure they still serve you positively now, and into the future. Remember, your goals should change and grow as you do, and it's okay to change course and set new resolutions at any time throughout the year. You are never obligated to be the same person you were 5 minutes ago.
So there are our 5 top tips to setting New Year resolutions that stick. There's never been a better time than right now to make the change that you've been wanting to make. Set your goals, start that new project, put yourself first, and allow yourself to evolve.
If you're ready to start the New Year on the right foot and evolve your training, mindset and lifestyle, join one of our Programs to make 2022 the year that changes everything.
We will equip you with all the tools, support and education you need to help carry your new habits and progress beyond the program and into the rest of your life.
Make your New Year resolutions come true in 2022. Discover the best program for your health and fitness goals here.