A Year is Always Today + 364 Days

We’ve all been there- setting ourselves those new year resolutions only to find that they’ve gone by the wayside after a short time. But how can we continue them for a further 364 days?

Sticking to your January goals can be challenging, but it is achievable with the right mindset, planning, and accountability. The tips on the next page are spot on and you may already be familiar with them- setting yourself realistic goals, making a plan, staying accountable, celebrating your successes, remaining flexible, and finally staying positive. Yes, these are all important headers but let’s do a deeper dive into achieving the right mindset.

Many of us need what’s called instant gratification. This is the desire for immediate satisfaction or pleasure, but without consideration of the long-term consequences. This desire can be a major obstacle in achieving our goals and such individuals often experience negative consequences, such as poor academic performance, health problems, and financial difficulties.

One of the key factors that can affect a person’s ability to delay gratification is the environment in which they grow up. Children who are raised in environments that provide consistent and predictable rewards for delayed gratification are more likely to develop this skill. In contrast, children who are raised in unpredictable or chaotic environments may struggle with delayed gratification. In addition, technology advancements and a rise in the culture of instant gratification in recent years, have made it even more challenging. Social media, online shopping, and other instant gratification tools make it even more difficult to resist the temptation of an immediate reward.

Delayed gratification is a skill that can be learned and improved with practice. There are various strategies that can help, such as identifying the triggers that usually lead to impulsive behaviours. Once you have identified your triggers, you can begin to take steps to avoid or manage them.

Setting a long-term goal(s) and breaking them down into smaller, achievable steps is important. By having a plan to achieve each step, you will be less likely to give in to instant gratification and make impulsive decisions.

Finally, by delaying gratification, you develop self-discipline and build mental strength. You can start small by delaying little pleasures such as checking your phone or having a snack, and gradually increase the time of delay. Mindfulness can help you achieve this. By being present and aware of your thoughts and emotions, without judgement, you can develop the ability to observe them without acting upon them. You can practice mindfulness through meditation, deep breathing, or simply by taking a few moments to pause and focus on your thoughts and feelings.

Overcoming instant gratification is a challenge that requires self-awareness and self-discipline. But by identifying your triggers, creating a plan, practicing mindfulness, finding alternative rewards, and seeking support, you can develop new habits that will help you achieve your long-term goals. Humans are capable of delayed gratification, but it is a skill that must be developed and practised. Some individuals are naturally better than others, but this does not mean that it is impossible for everyone to learn and improve.

Remember that the journey to success is not always easy, but with perseverance and determination, you can overcome any obstacles and reach your goals.

Top Tips For Setting Goals

Set Realistic Goals

If your goals are too lofty or unattainable, you are setting yourself up to fail. Instead, set goals that are challenging but achievable. Break them down into smaller, more managing steps, and focus on making progress towards them over time.

Make a Plan

Once you have set your goals, it’s important to make a plan for achieving them. This might involve setting a schedule, creating a to-do list, or breaking your goals down into smaller steps.

Stay Accountable

When you know that other people are counting on you to achieve your goals, it can be a powerful motivator to keep going. This might involve sharing your goals with friends or family members, joining a support group or community.

Celebrate Your Successes

It’s important to celebrate your success along the way, no matter how small they might be. Whether it’s losing a few pounds, saving a little bit of money, or completing a small task towards your goal, taking the time to acknowledge your progress can help you stay motivated and on track.

Be Flexible

While it’s important to stay focused on your goals, it’s also important to be flexible and adaptable. If you encounter obstacles or setbacks along the way, don’t give up. Instead, be willing to adjust your plan or your expectations as needed, and keep moving forward.

Stay Positive

When you believe in yourself and your ability to achieve your goals, you are more likely to succeed. Surround yourself with positive people, seek out sources of inspiration and motivation, and stay focused on the big picture.