It's been a long time since I've written, but it's good to be back. Today, I have a great post for you brought to you by the Ninja Challenge Obstacle 5k! They have some awesome ways to keep running towards your New Years' resolutions, long after many others give up. (Yes, that pun was intentional.)
I loved this post when they sent it to me, and I think you will greatly benefit from the solutions mentioned here. (Disclaimer: While I did receive compensation for this post, I whole-heartedly agree with the ideas presented. Please speak with your healthcare provider prior to beginning any exercise regimen.)
6 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions You May Have Not Heard of
About the Ninja Challenge: The Ninja Challenge Obstacle 5K is designed to bring out your inner ninja through obstacles that include climbing walls, throwing ninja stars, running on water, dodging ninjas, and more. This family-friendly event is held every year in Fuquay-Varina, and is locally-owned and supported. It’s perfect for first-time racers of all age ranges, and we often have competitors ranging from 8 to 80 years old. A portion of all proceeds benefit the Triangle Aquatic Center and the Triangle Red Cross to help promote drowning prevention and safety. The 2016 Ninja Challenge Obstacle 5K will be held May 21, 2016. To register, please visit www.theninjachallenge.com.
Now that February has arrived, the will to maintain New Year’s Resolutions is disappearing fast. We’ve all heard the sad statistic that only eight percent of resolutions are kept. We all know that it takes about three weeks to form a new habit, but that people stop trying after just 10 - 14 days.
Most of us also know the common solutions: Write down your goals; tell other people about your resolutions; form a group of friends and cohorts committed to the same goal. Nevertheless, each year, that eight percent success rate fails to budge.
This isn’t to say that the common tips listed above don’t help. (They do, and you should be implementing them into your routine each day.) However, there are a few “extra” ways that are less known, and since we believe in doing everything you can to set yourself up for success, we would like to share them with you.
Here are six ways to keep your New Year’s resolutions that you may not have heard of:
1. Forget the results:
If you’re like the majority of people in the United States, your New Year’s Resolutions are essentially two-fold: Lose weight and save money.
Each year, these two goals are among the top resolutions, but unfortunately, they’re incredibly vague. After all, if you manage to save a single dollar or lose a single pound, you’ve technically succeeded. But we doubt many people would actually consider that “success.”
Instead of focusing on vague, unmeasurable results, see if you can focus on the process of changing your habits. Instead of saying “lose weight,” change the resolution to “eat a salad every day for lunch,” and “walk 30 minutes each evening.” That is a much more specific goal, and it will have the payoff of establishing a good habit.
Plus, this way, you can look back at your day -- each day -- and know whether or not you succeeded. Each time you go to bed having accomplished your goal, you’ll be more motivated to do it again the next day.
2. Get an app:
People often complain about the downsides to living in a technology-oriented society, but there are also some serious advantages! Today, anyone with a smartphone has access to thousands of goal-setting apps available, ranging from apps to improve your motivation, organization, budget, fitness, diet, sleep, relationships, and nearly every other area you could want to improve.
Need some ideas for helpful apps? Start with this article, published on Mashable.com, which lists eight apps to help you keep your resolutions.
3. Follow a motivational blogger (or bloggers):
(Of course, if you’re a fan of Julie’s, you probably already have this one covered!)
You probably already know that it’s much easier to stick to your goals when you’re surrounded by like-minded people. It’s why new runners are so much more successful when they find a training partner.
Why not use this same principle when it comes to your online habits? For some weekly motivation, consider following a few blogs written by people that inspire you. When you constantly expose yourself to successful habits and lifestyles, you’ll naturally begin to change your own habits as well.
4. Work at your goals for 10 minutes a day:
Often, a big goal is intimidating. Losing 100 pounds is doable, and you can find hundreds of success stories online, but it’s clearly a daunting task that takes several months, if not years. Many New Year’s Resolutions are similarly grand in scale: get out of debt, complete a marathon, etc.
Thinking about the size of your big goals can be so overwhelming, it may seem pointless to even start. Therefore, you should break it down into tiny, easily-doable goals each day. In fact, make it a goal to spend just 10 minute working toward your goal each day.
What’s the point of doing something for only 10 minutes? Will a 10-minute workout really burn off that many calories? Yes and no. The actual outcome of those 10 minutes is less important than the fact that you spent time working toward your goal. One of the biggest motivators is progress, and even 10 minutes of progress can be enough to keep you coming back the next day.
What can 10 minutes get you?
● You can find a budget template that will help you track your expenses
● You can find a training plan that will get you started on marathon training
● You can read an inspirational blog post
● You can block off time during your lunch hour to head to the gym
● You can make plans with a friend to go for a morning run
● You can find a local running club
● You can pack a healthy lunch for work the next day
Any one of these things will get you started on the right track toward your goal. And who knows … usually after those 10 minutes are up, you’ll want to keep going. If that’s the case, then definitely keep going!
5. Try “New Month’s resolutions”:
Along the same lines as Tip No. 4, it may be easier to focus on one resolution at a time. Breaking down big goals into smaller, achievable steps will make it much easier to stay motivated because it takes less time to achieve success. For a great article on how to implement “New Month’s Resolutions,” check out this piece from 50by25.com.
“[A New Month’s Resolution] ensures you have enough energy and focus to truly achieve what you set out to do; only when you’ve mastered one goal do you move onto the next in your planned stack,” the article says.
We’re already through most of February, but you’ve still got 10 more months in 2016, which means you can achieve 10 new goals! From creating and sticking to a budget, to running a mile each day, there are hundreds of 30-day changes that you can make to better your health, relationships and finances.
Telling yourself that you only have to work at a goal for 30 days is much less daunting than working at it for … forever. At the end of the month, you can look back and decide whether or not it’s worth it to keep going. If you’ve achieved any kind of success, you’ll probably say yes.
6. Don’t worry about “getting motivated”:
Finally, sometimes you just have to accept that you won’t always be pumped-up, ready-to-go, get-out-of-my-way motivated. Motivation comes and goes, but willpower stays with you all the time.
Realize that the path toward accomplishing your goal isn’t going to be straightforward. As your motivation waxes and wanes, remember that it’s all part of the process. Enjoy the parts that are easy, and tell yourself that you’re earning your success during the parts that are hard. Make the decision just to “get started,” and the motivation will come in time.
What are your favorite tips for keeping your New Year’s Resolutions?