Oops, you did it again. In December, you made a mental checklist of all the things you'll accomplish in 2016. You'll wake up early to go to the gym! You'll avoid junk food like the plague! You'll get eight hours of sleep every night! #newyearnewme, right?
WRONG. All those resolutions went out the window this week when you went out with your friends, had a little too much to drink and drunk ate Chicken McNuggets at 3 a.m. And then when your alarm went off the next morning, there was no way in hell you were going for a run. Nope, nope, nope.
Don't admit defeat yet! All is not lost, and we've all been there. Here's how to get back on track after inevitably breaking your resolutions the first week of January:
You can't lose 10 pounds, publish your first novel, get an A+ on all your finals, spend more time with your family AND start a company all in 12 months. I mean, maybe you can, but then you'd basically be superhuman. Pick one or two of your most important resolutions and work towards them this year. You'll get burned out if you try to do too much too quickly. Besides, you've got 2017 (and 2018 and 2019...) for everything else.
Write your resolutions down
Once you've chosen what you want to accomplish this year, write it down. Put it somewhere concrete -- your blog, your journal, your fridge, the bulletin board above your desk -- so it feels more tangible than a thought you randomly had in the shower one day.
Break your big resolution into several smaller goals
"How the hell do I get there?"
If that's your first thought when you look at your resolution, then break it down into smaller, less intimidating goals. Acing that exam next Monday is a baby step towards passing the entire course.
Be as specific as possible
Take a few minutes to think about exactly what you need to do in order to get what you want. Deciding to eat healthier is far too vague. What types of food do you need to stock your fridge with? Maybe your baby step is vowing to pack your lunch instead of buying pizza. Maybe it's to eat whole wheat bread instead of white bread. Maybe it's to eat an extra piece of fruit every day. Whatever it is, all those baby steps add up to something much bigger.
Make a timeline
Set deadlines for yourself and stick to 'em. By February, you'll have read X number of chapters from your textbook. By March, you'll have a rough outline done for your final paper.
Recruit a friend
If your friends have the same resolutions as you, hold each other accountable for sticking to those goals. Your BFF won't be a happy camper if you bail last-minute on your 9 a.m. run. When someone else is relying on you, that external motivation will get you out of bed even if your intrinsic motivation is still snoozing.
Watch Shia LaBeouf's "Just Do It" motivational speech
"If you're tired of starting over, stop giving up." ?
Surround yourself with motivation, actually
Motivational quotes may be corny, but they work. Don't you feel like doing the thing now? Go conquer that thing!
Give yourself the freedom to make mistakes
If and when you break your resolution again, don't be too hard on yourself. Nobody is perfect all the time. The most important thing is that you're actively working to become the best version of yourself. If you slip up from time to time, so be it. Learn from those mistakes and move on to bigger (and better) things.