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Have You Made a New Year’s Resolution?
If you’ve ever thought to yourself, or even said aloud, “This is the year where I’ll do [x, y, and z] to be the best version of myself,” then you’ve made a New Year’s resolution. Some 93% of people set these resolutions, often promising themselves that in the new year they will eat healthier, work out three times a week, save more money, pay off debt, smile more, travel more, expand their social circle, the list goes on.
It’s disheartening to learn that less than 10% of these people follow through with their goals, but is it surprising? The problem with most resolutions is that they’re vague. Saying “I’ll be better this year” is ironically setting you up for failure. Without specific objectives, it’s nearly impossible to follow through. What exactly does being ‘better’ mean? What specifically will you do to achieve it? How will you determine your progress?
Have You Ever Wanted to Improve Yourself?
Some people have midlife crises or life-altering events that serve as a catalyst for change. However, maintaining that change can be harder than it seems. Stopping a bad habit or starting a good one are equally difficult. All too frequently people set goals for themselves that get blown away with the wind.
In order to start living your best life, whether for a New Year’s resolution or a change of heart, it’s crucial to set measurable goals. You can adjust your mood through physical activity and creative endeavors, but without those actionable plans you won’t get far in your dream to be better. Motivation and realistic objectives are the key to seeing out your dreams for this year, and later, your life.
Having the determination to reach your goals will help a great deal in setting and sticking to your plan. So, how can you get motivated to be your best self? Scroll to the visual below for 17 ways to inspire yourself or keep reading for explanations and details.
1. Start Small
It’s important not to make ambiguous goals willy-nilly. Not only will you exceed the reasonable amount of objectives you can take on, but they’re also flimsy targets. To find success, you have to give yourself a single, solid target. Start small by aiming only for the outer ring. If you try to hit the bull’s-eye right away, you’ll only feel frustrated and defeated.
2. Set Realistic Goals
In the same vein, it’s essential for your goals to be practical and easy to monitor. One way to do this is by using the acronym, SMART. Ensuring that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound puts you five steps closer to achieving them. You’ll find that giving yourself objectives that you can actually hit leads to small successes and more motivation.
3. Break Down Goals into Phases
Sometimes you may feel stressed or overwhelmed. During these times it helps to have an extra push to move you forward. Unfortunately, not everyone has personal trainers or a strong self conscience yelling at them. When you need some more motivation, try to break a large goal into smaller sub-goals. It can even help to write out and check off the simplest tasks, including things that you’ve already done.
4. Get Active
Increasing your physical activity is almost a surefire way to boost your ambition. Your body will release endorphins, putting you in a good mood while toning up your physique. Getting active is a win-win situation for your mind and body. Start with a few jogs around the block or swim in the neighborhood pool. You can even pick up a sport at the local recreation center.
5. Reward Yourself for Each Milestone
Just like teaching your children or training your pets, reward systems can work for you too. Treating yourself for each victory is a good incentive to propel you to the next one. For those on strict diets or budgets, consider rewarding yourself with a relaxing break such as reading a book or taking a bath.
6. Create a Vision Board
Not unlike mood boards that depict a certain style, vision boards your goals through images. The imagery can literally show your goals or they can simply evoke strong emotions, tying you more closely to your objective. You can create this digitally or make a craft out of it using a bulletin or poster board.
7. Find a Support System
It’s important not to forget the power that lies in a support system. When you begin to go astray, your friends and family will keep you focused. A buddy system is also a good idea for those you share goals with. Most great things in life can’t be accomplished alone.
8. Eat Mood-Boosting Foods
Fuel yourself with tasty, nutritional foods that also boost your mood. Some examples include blueberries, avocados and dark chocolate. However, moderation is still important. Too much of any kind of food isn’t a good thing.
9. Drink More Water
Though it may seem self explanatory, drinking water helps your energy and motivation. Try to replace soda or sugary drinks with water. You’ll feel better in general and may even notice a difference in your weight. It can be an adjustment at first, but soon you’ll find yourself craving water.
10. Find Things That Inspire You
This can be as simple as a quote or mantra you repeat to yourself, or it can be as complex as a pump up playlist with a hundred hand-picked songs. The point is to find something that drives you. When you’re stuck, you can use the things that inspire you to pull yourself out of the rut.
11. Concentrate on Positivity
Reflecting on positive outcomes will build up your motivation to keep going. Many people fall into a pessimistic outlook, making their final goal a hopeless pipe-dream. Optimism leads to hope which leads to motivation. Staying positive is your strongest tool.
12. Develop a New Routine
Whether you want to develop a new habit or spur some additional creative thinking, changing your routine is the way to go. Sticking with a change for about three weeks will result in a new habit. Furthermore, taking another route to work or switching up your daily schedule generates more imaginative thought.
The Last 5 Tips
For the last 5 tips on how to get motivated and be your best self, check out the infographic below, generously provided by Shari’s Berries. Pick and choose your favorite or implement all 17 suggestions. Either way, you’re headed the right direction.
Holding yourself accountable can be difficult. When the chaos of life hits — school, work, friends, family or whatever it may be — it can be nearly impossible to hear yourself think, let alone work on self-improvement. Using this practical advice, you can create a step-by-step strategy to living your best life.
Remember, we’re all human. It’s likely you will derail at some point on your road to your ideal self. When this happens, picture your end goal and everything that inspires you. Instead of getting down on yourself, use your falter as motivation to get back on track. As long as you are trying, you are moving forward. There is no step too small.
Are you living your best life? If not, what steps are you taking to be your best self? Please comment and share below: