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Katherine Moon
Katherine Isabella Moon
Meow, hello there, my name is Katherine, but you can call me Kat; because I basically am a cat. Anyways, I am a 26-year-old, lifestyle blogger, with an INFP-T personality type, from the United States. I love fashion, the color pink, cats, dogs, and spending all my time on my computer. I'm often seen wearing cat ears headbands.
The Kat Life
The Kat Life

how I'm choosing to live my best life

Thursday, January 30, 2020

5 Tips For Sticking To Your Goals & Resolutions

Never give up quote
Photo courtesy of Alyssa Strohmann on Unsplash

For a lot of people, early-January is a time of motivation. However, for a lot of people, that motivation starts to fade as the weeks go on.  As a matter of fact, just over two weeks into January, there's an official holiday to ditch your resolutions on January 17th. Let's be real too, some people don't even make it to January 17th before they start to throw in the towel on their resolutions. I'll be 100% with you, there have been years where I haven't made it to the end of the first week with all of my resolutions intact. A lot of the time, this was because I'd go into them unprepared, and without much of plan, which is quite common. 

But there are many reasons once may choose to ditch their resolutions. Perhaps their goals were a lot more challenging than they had anticipated, and they found it difficult to adjust their daily routine to accommodate these goals. Or they may not have been seeing the results they were hoping for quickly enough, and they just gave up. There is also a chance that maybe they genuinely lost interest in their goal, and it just wasn't working for them or adding anything positive to their life. And you know what? If something isn't adding any value to your life, it's 100% okay to drop it.

But if something is beneficial to you, or you can't stop thinking about it, and you know that you want it, why stop? Because it's more challenging than you had anticipated? Because you aren't seeing instant results? Because of something that someone else might have said to you? Because you had one bad day, or maybe a crummy week? Believe me when I say that I've been faced with all of these factors, and many others, that have tempted me to throw in the towel on something that I wanted. And each time that I would find myself giving up, I would be highly upset with myself for quitting. So let's not give up! Instead of getting into the "better luck next year" mentality, let's get motivated again right now.

5 Tips For Sticking To Your Goals

Remember why you started!

Do something today that your future self will thank you for.
Photo courtesy of Alexa Williams on Unsplash

I'm sure this is your millionth time hearing this quote. Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration, but this exact quote has been posted millions of times on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, WeHeartIt, and every other social media app. There are also tons of posters, t-shirts, and water bottles with this same quote, or something similar, printed on them. But seriously, when you find yourself losing motivation or becoming a little lax with your goal or resolution, you'll want to come back to the reason (or reasons) why you wanted to do it in the first place. If you don't already have a solid "why" you want to go for your goal, or make that change to your lifestyle, try to think of one. Your reason can be anything, as long as it's important to you, and it adds something positive to your life. Once you've pinpointed your purpose for setting your goal or making the change to your lifestyle, don't forget to write your reason(s) down where you'll see them every day. That way, you'll have a daily reminder of why you're doing it. Which will be especially important when you're thinking about quitting.

If you're struggling to come up with a solid reason for setting your goal or making the lifestyle change you've set out to make, then it's time to reevaluate it. If it really isn't adding any value to your life what-so-ever, and it's not that important, then, by all means, nix it. Also, one more thing, but it's okay if you find that your "why" ends up not working for you once you get started. Or for your "why" to change later on. It's also okay if you end up realizing you're not as passionate about something as you thought you'd be.

Be (realistically) specific

Goal setting journal
Photo courtesy of Alexa Williams on Unsplash

I have been guilty of making vague goals and resolutions in the past. I'd find myself just saying that I want to "wake up earlier" or "workout more" without being specific about it, thus having no plan. Wake up earlier? Let's say I've been waking up around 10:00 AM. 9:59 AM is earlier than 10:00 AM. So technically, I would not be breaking my resolution by waking up at 9:59. Even though I know in the back of my mind that was not what I meant by waking up earlier. Workout more? I could do a brief, one-minute workout, and that would technically be more than not exercising at all. Those are rather dramatic examples, but you get the idea. Although, I tend to end up close to that point just before I throw in the towel. Not having a guideline to follow, or a specific goal to work towards often leads me to just not following through, as it allows for way too much leniency.

So instead of just saying that I want to wake up earlier, or that I want to exercise more, I've decided to be a little more specific. As for waking up, I want to work towards waking up at 7:00 AM. As for working out, I want to get at least thirty minutes of exercise, six days a week, and take an active rest for the seventh day. Having specific guidelines to follow on lifestyle changes that I want to make has actually made it a lot easier for me to stick by them, as there is less question as to whether or not I'm actually adhering to them. Although, I must say that the idea of having a clear indicator of failure was a significant reason why I was often less specific about my goals and resolutions. And the higher the risk of failure, the more likely I was to be vague so that I "couldn't" fail. Let's not even get into how apprehensive I was to set any type of a deadline! A deadline?! I'm giving my procrastinating ass a "due date"?!

But as scary as it was, and still is, to have that risk of failure, it's actually more motivating than just going at it without any clear distinction between success and failure. The fact that there is a clear difference between success and failure motivates me to push myself harder. Especially as I know what I'm actually trying to work toward, or what I want to be doing. It also eliminates a lot of the "I'll do it later" or "good enough" type of talk. So be as specific as you can, and challenge yourself, but be realistic as well. For another example, one of my New Year's resolutions for this year is to post more on my blog, and while I'd love to post daily, this is not realistic for me! Not with the amount of time it takes for me to write my content. So I've set my goal to post at least four posts per month so that I can avoid going long periods without posting and post more consistently than I was last year.

Have a plan

Woman setting goals
Photo courtesy of Alexa Williams on Unsplash

Over the years, I have found that I am far more likely to be successful if I have some form of a plan than if I just try to wing it. I am more likely to exercise if I set aside a specific time to do my workout and if I'm following some sort of a workout plan. I am more likely to complete a task if I schedule it into my day, and have a plan to break big tasks down into smaller tasks like I did with decluttering. As for goals, I am more likely to reach them if I plan out how I want to reach them, setting realistic mini-goals along the way. 

Occasionally, I do find myself having to change or adapt my plan to work better for me. Sometimes I find that I need to break small tasks up into even smaller tasks. Or that I need to switch up a few things, or even change my method entirely. So don't be afraid to modify your plan if you need to. 

Look to others for inspiration

Girl reading magazine
Photo courtesy of Daria Shevtsova on Pexels

One of the most beautiful things about social media is that you don't need to look very hard to find somebody that is doing, or has done, what you want to accomplish. You don't necessarily have to know someone IRL with the same goals, or who lives the lifestyle you want to live, to find inspiration or to see how it's done. When I have a goal or a lifestyle change I want to make, I look for blog posts on the subject, and YouTube videos from people who are doing it. Whether they are giving pointers, or just explaining what they do, it's super inspiring. It's also helpful to have someone to look to as an example. At least to me, anyway, even if I don't imitate their exact same habits completely. I love watching other people's 4:00 or 5:00 AM morning routines on YouTube, even though I don't want to wake up that early, and parts of their morning routines don't necessarily work for me. 

One important thing to keep in mind here, however, is to never compare yourself to any of these people. Especially not in the beginning; you can't compare your chapter one to someone else's chapter twenty. Honestly, you can't even compare your chapter one to someone else's chapter one. We all start in different places, and everyone's journey is different. Using this mindset, I personally feel inspired by the success of others, rather than discouraged because I'm not there yet. Or because my journey is different than theirs.  

In the case of failure, be firm but fair with yourself

Woman hiding behind her planner
Photo courtesy of Alexa Williams on Unsplash

Listen, we're all only human, and shit happens. There will inevitably be days where we slip up on our lifestyle choices or allow a bad habit to creep back in. There will be times where we don't meet our goals at our deadline for one reason or another. Failure will always be a part of life. But it's our failures that we learn from. So rather than throwing in the towel when you happen to fail, take a moment to consider why you weren't successful or why you slipped up. Was your goal bigger than anticipated for the deadline you set? Was a part of your routine not working well for you? Were you trying to go too big, too fast? Did you go in without much of a plan? Were there any factors outside of your control that affected anything? Seriously, rather than beating yourself up over a failure, or any kind of set back, take the time to consider why you weren't successful, and use it as a learning experience. Then get back up and try again.

Just because you slipped up, it doesn't mean you can't get right back on track. You don't have to wait until next year or even until Sunday. You don't necessarily have to wait until tomorrow, either. If you don't meet your deadline for a goal, you don't have to stop or start over. Just reevaluate your deadline and keep going! Seriously, just keep going.

Even as we head into the months ahead of January, and the general spirit of New Year's resolutions begins to fade, I still want to do my very best to adhere to everything that I told myself I wanted to do this year. If you're reading this, I'm going to guess that there is a chance that you do too. Or maybe you want to pick your New Year's resolutions back up; it's never too late to do so! Or maybe your goal or "resolution" has nothing to do with New Year, and it's just something you want to do. New Year isn't the only time for resolutions, you can set them at any time!

How are you doing so far on your New Year's resolutions for this year? Have you been successful with any of your New Year's resolutions in the past? Do you prefer not to call them New Year's resolutions, or not to make New Year's resolutions per se? Do you have any tips of your own for staying on track with your goals, or adhering to a positive lifestyle change? I'd love to hear them!

5 Tips For Sticking To Your Goals
Thank you for reading, and I hope the rest of your day is wonderful!
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