It’s February. You’ve forgotten and discarded those New Year’s resolutions. But why is 1st of January so special? Why can’t you set goals and change things any day of the year?
This is the perfect time to start great habits such as a regular yoga and meditation practice, adjusting your eating, increasing your exercise and improving your relationships. You may feel very motivated at the beginning of the year and while motivation gets you started, what keeps you going is habit.
Here are our top tips for setting goals – even when it’s not New Year.
1. Don’t overcommit
I won’t sugarcoat it, breaking old habits can be tough. They’re ingrained deeply in our behaviour and quitting can be difficult. A lot of working and conditioning goes into something becoming second nature. If you’re trying to break several old habits and form multiple new ones at once, you could be setting yourself up for failure. So take the time to focus on just one habit for now and move on to the others later.
2. Work into it gradually
If your goal is to do something every day (like, say, yoga) it’s unlikely you’ll be able to reach that goal right off the mark. Forming habits takes time, conditioning and lots of willpower, so don’t kick yourself if you miss a day. You can always start up again tomorrow.
Set appropriate goals. Try setting a new one each week so you can be motivated without being overwhelmed. If daily yoga is your goal, start by doing yoga just two or three times in the first week and then ramp it up to four the next week. As you build up your yoga practice it will be easier for you to reach your initial goal.
3. Get an Accountability Buddy
Sometimes having a friend by your side for mutual encouragement is really beneficial. It can be hard to inspire yourself to go to the gym or choose the apple over the chocolate bar, but having someone else doing the same can really make a difference.
4. Treat yourself with compassion
Don’t beat yourself up when you don’t manage to stick to your goals. Take one day at a time and be nice to yourself – things don’t always work out the way you want them to. Sometimes life gets in the way.
Here’s a link to some self compassion activities that might help if this is a big problem for you.
Let us know what has worked for you!