It may take a bit of discipline, but keeping track of and recognising tiny achievements will go a long way towards staying on top of your goals
So you signed up for a gym package because you promised yourself to work out more this year, and so far, you’ve been making good progress, going for gym sessions two or three times a week.
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But as work and other commitments begin to pile up, you may find yourself cancelling classes, and starting to feel guilty about it.
Many of us start the year with tons of motivation. However, sticking to your New Year's resolutions past January can take considerable mental and emotional stamina. When you find yourself unable to stick to your promises to yourself, you may end up guilt-tripping or beating yourself up. So how do you avoid falling into that trap? It starts with planning, tracking and recognising even the smallest wins.
Whether you’ve set goals that are health-related, career-oriented or a change in your general lifestyle, the first step is to set goals that are achievable and realistic. A good tip is to write them out — this makes them easier to remember.
You can also break a goal down into smaller steps, so it is easier to achieve it. For instance, instead of giving up desserts completely, allow yourself one cheat day a week or switch to a healthier alternative. If your goal is to run 10km, start with 5km and slowly work your way up.
We often see huge successes in the media, like fitness influencers with six-packs or young entrepreneurs whose revolutionary products earned them millions. That leads us to expect those types of results for ourselves, which can demotivate us if we don't see the same measure of success.
According to Vancouver-based educator Mehrnaz Bassiri, the problem doesn’t lie in the humble size of our accomplishments, but the outsized nature of our expectations.
Adopt a more realistic measure of success — for instance, recognising that you’ve made it to the gym twice this week and reducing your sugar intake instead of checking the weighing scale — note your daily achievements, and give yourself a pat on the back for doing so!