Every January, we set ourselves an array of New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, by February, many of us have given up on our goals. Take a look at our list of our top tips for sticking to your resolutions throughout 2017.
1: Be Realistic
If you've reached the point where you're ready to give up early in the year. perhaps your goals were too difficult or taxing and that is why you're struggling to continue to reach your goals.
Setting a target of losing a stone in four weeks, running a half-marathon by the end of the month or going to the gym every day might sound like a great idea – and look brilliant on paper – but is it actually achievable for you based on your current situation and routines?
Resolutions or any goal you're trying to acheive should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound.
If you're struggling, have another look at your goals for 2017 and see if you can reassess them according to the SMART code. The chances are you will be more realistic in your approach if your resolutions are SMART.
2: Don’t Be Afraid To Start Again
Even if you have given up on a goal, and therefore missed a couple of weeks of, for example, eating healthily, keeping fit, running, cycling or walking, there is no reason why you can’t re-start you goal. Everyone needs a little break from time to time, don't feel bad about it, feel motivated to get back to it when you can!
February or even March could be the perfect time for you to kickstart your New Year’s resolutions again. For some people, the winter months are the toughest for sticking to healthier goals so why not start in March instead?
3: Create Bite-Sized Goals
If you have one big goal, for example; to walk all the Munros, or to cycle 100 miles without stopping, or to lose three stones, it’s a better idea if you break the overall goal into smaller chunks. You could aim to walk one Munro every month, or cycle 20 miles, then 30 miles and build up to 100 miles. Your weight loss plan could be as simple as to lose a set amount each month.
Every time you achieve one of your smaller milestones, you should give yourself a reward, such as a new item of kit or a meal out with your partner. It’s the small steps that build up to a long-term goal.
4: Tell Other People About Your Goals
Setting a goal for yourself is important – but achieving the goal will be more realistic if you tell other people about it. Telling others helps in a number of ways. Friends and family can offer support and motivation if they know about your goals. Telling other people may also prevent you from giving up – because you do not want people to think that you've failed in some way. So, for example, if you plan to run a marathon in 2017 and then tell your friends, they will probably want to know how you are getting on with the training.
Most people will want to avoid the embarrassment of saying: “Oh, yeah, I did plan to run a marathon but I gave up in the first two weeks of training!”
5: Write / Blog About Your Resolutions
You could keep a diary about your goals or start a blog. Writing things down tends to keep you focused and it makes goals seem more real. It’s also a good idea to write down a plan to achieve a resolution. For example, if you want to walk more you could plan a programme of when and where you will walk each week. Remember to keep the goals SMART, but you should build up the miles each week and month with a steady but acheiveable progression. If you have something to refer to and a plan of progress you are far more likely to stick to the programme.
6: Make A Pact With Friends
Motivation can come from setting goals with other people. You could plan to walk a long-distance trail together in the summer or book a cycling holiday in the autumn. If you have a joint goal you will be able to motivate each other to keep to the plan. It might also bring out your competitive edge, and make you strive further to reach each of your goals.
7: Do Something For Charity
Raising money for charity through a personal goal, such as running a 10k, cycling in an event or taking part in an adventure race will keep you focused. Once you have told people about the goal and asked them to sponsor you, there is far less chance you will give up on the goal. This also gives you a timescale to work with, lots of these events have a pre-register period where you can book early and set yourself a clear goal for up to 6 months into the year. It also feels great to give something back, and rewarding your efforts will definitely keep you focussed.
8: Try Something Completely New
If you always set the same goals each year – and fail – it could be that you are not excited or sufficiently motivated enough by the ideas. Why not set goal to be fit enough to do something extraordinary. For example, you could plan to book a walking trip to a new country, go ski touring in the Alps, or climb Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro?
Other ideas might include cycling from Land’s End to John o’ Groats, walking the West Highland Way, swimming in an open water event or to go climbing in the Dolomites.
All these goals will require you to become fit enough or properly skilled, but with an attractive and exciting event goal at the end, you will find new motivation to stick to your fitness goals.
9: Join A Club
Meeting likeminded people, such as at a walking, triathlon or cycling club, or an open water swimming group, can offer new-found motivation and happiness as you aim to achieve new goals. It’s far easier to become a better walker, cyclist, triathlete, runner or swimmer if you do your chosen activity with other people who are also passionate about the activity. This can also help you to develop skills with professional coaching, or create opportunities to make a new goal based on those from the people in the group.
10: For The Benefit Of Family
Families that enjoy outdoor activities and sport together are far more likely to be happier and healthier, so say various pieces of research. Spending time together cycling, walking, kayaking, skiing or trying new activities in the outdoors, such as gorge walking, or canyoning, can help with life-long bonds between parents and children and siblings. It also helps that you've had a shared experience so that you can talk about it with them and share photos and stories with extended family.
11: To Be Happier
Again, there is a lot of research to show that if you spend time outdoors, especially when you are active, you are less prone to depression and will have more energy and increased zest for life. You could try walking more for a month, or cycling a few times to work each week, and see how you feel. We bet you’ll feel a whole lot happier and the chances are you’ll carry on doing these activities even without setting a goal.
So what are you waiting for? Make a plan, Get geared up and get out there for adventures this spring! Share all your photos and stories with #MyTiso across our social media channels to be featured on our site!