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How to Re-spark Inspiration When Your New Year’s Resolution Has Fizzled

If you’re like most people, approximately three months ago you set a goal for 2018. You probably called it a “resolution” and you also told yourself this year would be different from every one previous. This year, you would stick to your goal until it came to fruition.

So, how’s that working out?

If you’re like most people, it’s not working out so great—and we’re here to tell you that’s perfectly okay.

Over the course of your life, many goals will come and go. Some will be achieved, and some won’t. What’s more important in the long run is that your motivation and commitment stay true despite all the ups and downs that life throws at you.

So, if this sounds like you—if you’re here in March thinking, “How do I get my health and fitness commitment back on track?”—we’re here to help. Here are two things to consider in evaluating your New Year’s resolution and moving forward with your new “March resolution.”

1. Pick a New Goal

It’s entirely possible the goal you picked at the end of December or first week of January wasn’t actually a great goal for you. What the past two months of struggle might have been trying to tell you is that this resolution was never a good fit.

Look back and see if you can determine if this is the case. Why did you pick this resolution? How excited were you about it? Will sticking to this resolution help in your long-term, big-picture goals? Is it possible you could scale back on this resolution a little and find success?

Or, maybe, you’ve learned something from this “failure.” Maybe you don’t like swimming. Maybe you’ve tried to go to art galleries and museums and they’re just not fun for you. Maybe Brazilian jiu jitsu just doesn’t feel great on your body.

Okay, so now you know those things. What can you choose as your new “March resolution” that builds on this knowledge and still propels you toward your long-term goal? Maybe you try a cycling club instead of swimming. Maybe you take an architecture class instead of suffering through museums. Maybe you study Tai Chi.

The takeaway: What can you learn from your “failed” New Year’s Resolution that could propel you toward a future “win”?

2. Don’t Let Yourself Off the Hook

On the flip side of that, maybe you shouldn’t pick a new goal. Maybe what you need to do is give yourself a little kick in the pants and have a serious talk with yourself in the bathroom mirror.

How often do you set news goals? How many of these goals have you achieved before moving on to a new one? What do you tell yourself when thing get difficult and it’s time to dig in and do the hard work?

Life is hard. Goals are hard. We don’t blame anyone for feeling discouraged or overwhelmed when it comes to forging new ground in any part of your life. Whether it’s running further, lifting heavier, or eating healthier—choosing to optimize your life is never the easiest path.

But to get extraordinary results, you have to do extraordinary things. Ordinary people quit when things get hard, when the way gets rocky. That’s not you. You’re not ordinary. (Really, nobody is ordinary—we’re all incredibly unique, talented, and full of amazing potential. The question is: do you see that in yourself and what are you doing to honor it?)

We think you’re worth not letting yourself off the hook. If your New Year’s resolution was a goal that meant something to you and that you feel is worth achieving, then recommit yourself right now and get back to work.

The takeaway: You’re worth it and you can do this.

Remember Where Your Motivation Comes From

You’re the only one who can know whether the best thing to do is stick with your New Year’s resolution or create a new March resolution. But success on either path will depend on you remembering where your motivation comes from.

Whatever your goal is, you have to be capable of getting up each morning—when it’s raining, when you’re tired, when a work deadline is looming—and taking care of you first. Health and happiness are not separate things. You cannot put off one for the other and live a long, fulfilled life. Why did you pick this goal and what does it mean for your life? Spend some time on that.

Then, incorporate some of these tips to help you re-kindle and maintain your motivation:

  • Schedule a workout date with a buddy
  • Dedicate times in your weekly calendar for yourself (and refuse to reschedule them)
  • Tell your spouse, friends, children, and/or co-workers what your goals are
  • Rewrite your resolutions and goals every day in a journal
  • Put a sticky note on your bathroom mirror with a positive reminder
  • Create a series of smaller milestones that lead to your big goal
  • Celebrate each time you achieve something and forgive yourself each time you stumble

So, what’s your March resolution? And what are you doing today to achieve it?

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