It’s now been over four weeks since the start of 2023 — and it’s the perfect time to look back on the goals you set yourself when the clock ticked over into midnight. Have you managed to keep yourself away from alcohol? Is your training intensity still there, as well as the healthy meals you’ve been prepping? Whatever your answer, you’re only human, as a 2021 study found that about 60% of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions within a month.
Whether you want to get back on track or plan to stay motivated as we continue further into 2023, there are a few sure-fire ways you can keep yourself firing on full cylinders.
Small Habits, Big Differences
In Atomic Habits, author James Clear argues that, when compounded over time, small habits have the power to make huge differences in your life, from psychology to fitness and weight loss to work. Clear suggests that making ‘1% changes’ daily — a concept known as ‘marginal gains, to some — will have a far wider-reaching impact on your life than one sudden drastic change. “If you can get 1% better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done,” he says when summarising his book. “Conversely, if you get 1% worse each day for one year, you’ll decline nearly down to zero. What starts as a small win or a minor setback accumulates into something much more.”
If one of your resolutions is goal-orientated — reaching a certain weight or going to five classes a week, for example — now would be the time, with a month’s worth of reflection, to look back and reflect on how successful you’ve been on implementing those. If you’ve failed to hit your target or seem to be trending away, try to re-frame them so you can keep your resolution going. In High Performance, Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO at Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, talks effusively on the power of humility. “Humility is a super-important factor in all of our lives,” he says. “I try to remind myself every evening in front of the mirror, ‘just calm down’”.
Give Yourself a Break
It’s inevitable that we’ll all slip up from time to time, especially with loftier resolutions. But a slip-up isn’t a failure; far from it. As with anything it’s about how you recover from a setback. Science agrees: studies on goal-setting by John Norcross showed that more than 70% of successful ‘resolvers’ felt that a slip-up made them try harder. It also ‘rekindled’ the commitment to their goal.