As the beginning of a New Year rolls around, many of us decide to set ourselves new goals or resolutions.
Setting a New Year's resolution is easy but sticking to them is the hard part.
So why do many of us fail at sticking to our newly set goals?
Often we are unrealistic in the expectations we put on ourselves.
Setting goals is a great way to increase motivation and initiate a change we want to achieve for ourselves.
Goals can be used to improve many areas of our lives and help us move out of a comfort zone.
When we have a goal, it helps us to focus our attention to a specific thing and allows us to grow in personal development.
However, the secret to maintaining the focus and increasing our chances of success is to be realistic with the goals you set.
When making a New Year's resolution in 2020, consider these tips and be kind to yourself.
Set just one goal at a time. By setting and achieving one goal, you will feel successful and be motivated in the next goal you set for yourself.
Break the goal into smaller, clear, achievable steps that will lead you gradually to your main goal.
Be realistic on how long the steps will take. It is better to move slowly in the right direction than to fall down on attempting to move too quickly. Lasting changes usually take time.
Have a plan for when things don't go well. Progress is rarely a straight line and it is important to stay positive when setbacks occur. Accept that you had a bad day and start fresh with your goal in mind.
Reward yourself along the way. Give yourself some congratulations at each step and not just at the end goal. This will help to keep you motivated.
Try writing down your goal and plan for the individual steps. Consider also writing how you will reward yourself at each part of the journey and give yourself something to look forward to.
Track your progress by writing down every week what you have achieved. It is good to acknowledge the small steps and keeping a record will help in the times when you may feel like you've failed. Looking back at how far you have come will help motivate you to keep pushing forward.
Share your goal with friends or family to help keep yourself accountable. Tell them how you would like them to support you and ask them to check in on your progress.
Having someone to share in your success can help to keep you motivated.
For more information about mental and physical health, work and study and alcohol and other drugs, visit the headspace website for free support for young people between 12-25 years old.