Apryl Brown, Communications Coordinator
How to Master Your Goals in 2022
Happy New Year! You finally made it to January with resolutions in hand. You are so PUMPED. It’s 2022, you have so much enthusiasm, you’re totally going to the gym EVERY day this year! You keep this motivation going for about two weeks and then, you’re over it. Working out starts to feel like rocket science and you’d rather do literally anything else. You decide to take the day off and start again tomorrow. Nothing wrong with a little break, right? But then, one day turns into two days, turns into a week, and so on and so on until, you’ve pretty much abandoned your goal altogether.
Does this sequence of events sound familiar? If so, you might have a case of Sisyphus Syndrome. Sisyphus, according to Greek mythology, was a king of Corinth that was condemned to Hades for his cruelty. His punishment was to roll a large rock up a hill repeatedly, but as the rock nears the top of the hill, it rolls back down and the process starts again. If you find yourself making and failing at the same resolution every year, you are giving yourself the Sisyphus treatment. Ask yourself, what do you think that says about you? What would that say to you about someone else? Would you think them to be a person with conviction? What do their choices demonstrate about their discipline or reliability? What do you want your choices to say about you?
According to a study at Scranton University, only 19% of individuals maintain their New Year’s resolution for at least 2 years. In fact, ditching your NYR is so common, that it was made a holiday! For the record, this year’s Ditch Your New Year’s Resolution Day, also known as, Quitters’ Day, was on January 17. Despite the normalcy of the concept, being a habitual goal-reneger is not an adjective that everyone wants to be described with. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. If you’ve been doing your New Year’s Resolution wrong, it’s never too late to make it right! That being said, I present to you a few common reasons your New Year’s Resolution hasn’t stuck:
1. Your goal isn’t realistic
Let’s say your goal is to lose some weight & be healthier, right? You want to lose, say, 100 lbs in the first 6 months of the year, but you’ve never been keen on working out or eating healthily until recently. You don’t even regularly buy vegetables at the grocery store. It’s unlikely that you will lose 100 pounds in six months as a beginner to health & exercise. And that’s okay. What’s not okay is setting an unachievable goal. This sets you up for discouragement when you aren’t approaching your goal fast enough to meet your implausible timeline. This causes many people to quit their goals altogether. Avoid this trap! Make sure you are honestly considering your strengths and weaknesses when setting a goal. Be real and objective about your abilities and be sure to allow yourself time and grace to struggle or get it wrong at first. New skills don’t come naturally to everyone.
2. You don’t have a plan
Be intentional. After you’ve decided on your goal, it’s time to make your game plan, or in this case, your goal plan. Think about your goal like a NASCAR race. How are you making it to the finish line? As races go, you will need to incorporate a few pit stops to make sure you’re still on track and moving steadily towards the finish line (your goal). You should also use these check-ins to congratulate yourself on what you’ve been able to accomplish thus far. This brings us to point #3.
3. You’ve lost your motivation
You should plan for days that you want nothing to do with your goal because there will be days where you don’t even want to look at a treadmill and the mere thought of salad makes you gag. We all know that actually achieving your goal is the ultimate victory but, remind yourself that it’s the small victories that make up those ultimate ones; and that matters too. After a few weeks in, your current routine may start boring you to tears resulting in less motivation to stick with it. Good thing there’s more than one way to crack an egg, time to switch it up! There are many routes you can take to maintain your goal motivation. A few of my favorites include:
- Vision boards. Use pictures, quotes, art, etc. to visualize yourself living your best post-goal victory life. Hang it up somewhere you will see it every day as a physical reminder of your ‘why’.
- Rewards. When you reach little milestones that get you closer to your goal, they should be celebrated. I would recommend scheduling your rewards with your pit stops for extra motivation reinforcement. A few ways I like to treat myself are via shopping, cheat days and vacations.
- Moral support. Bring a friend! I find it’s a lot easier to keep someone else on track rather than yourself, as it’s easier to be objective. Get with someone that has a similar goal to yours and help keep each other on track. It really does make it easier.
In short, with the infamous Quitters’ Day behind us, as we reach the part of January where change doesn’t sound as cool as it did in December—and all the gyms start to look empty again—, consider these points. Consider who you are and who you want to be. Then, consider how your goals, or lack thereof, reflects those qualities. Most importantly, remember that you don’t have to wait for a new year to start a new goal. Start right now!