Girl receiving a medal after a race

New Year, New Goals!

At the start of each New Year people across the country set New Year’s Resolutions for themselves. This blog will help you decide on what to make your New Year’s Resolution, but more importantly, how to stick to it throughout the whole year and beyond!

Picking a Resolution:

Try Something New: What is something that you have always wanted to try but never had the time or extra motivation to do? This could be something to help you grow personally, or just something new and exciting to add to your life. Set aside a certain amount of time each day or week for yourself to work on whatever you choose. You don’t have to be great when you start, but in order be become great at something you have to start somewhere!

Focus on something you want to improve on: Another way to come up with an impactful resolution is to focus on an area that you know needs to be improved. As a runner, I had a weak lower back and core, and this would cause me to run with poor form and it ended up effecting my performance. I realized that was an aspect of my training I should devote more time to. That year my resolution was to do extra core workouts and strength exercises. Take some time to assess some of your opportunities for growth and then determine steps that you can take to accomplish them.  

Make it Measurable: Goals such as “Go to the gym more often” and “Eat more vegetables” are very fine, but it is hard to measure your success or progress. Make your goals specific and measurable so at the end of every day, week, or month you can clearly know if you accomplished what you set out to do. Change the goals that that were listed previously to something along the lines of, “Go to the gym 2 times each week,” or “Eat at least 1 serving of vegetables every day.”  

Sticking To It:

Set Checkpoints: Don’t bite off more than you can chew right off the bat. A New Year’s Resolution does not have to be something that you have to accomplish or complete in just a few weeks. Do not get discouraged if you struggle at first either. A helpful tip for completing a long term goal is setting check points or mini goals for yourself along the way. These will help you track your progress and make your BIG goals seem more manageable.

Remind Yourself: A great way to hold yourself accountable is to continue to remind yourself of your resolution. One of the best ways to do this is to write your resolution down. It sounds minor, but it can make a huge difference. A Harvard study found that people who write down their goals are 1.2-1.4 more times likely to achieve them than those who do not. There are 2 main reasons for this. The first is obviously that you are reminded of this more often and won’t just forget to do it. Set daily reminders on your phone, or put post-it notes on your night stand or refrigerator to help you do this. The second reason is because writing down your goals helps you envision the result of them better. You can then “see” the goal and understand the difference it will make for you.

- John Cotton, Youth Program Services Coordinator