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Ah, a new year of hope and monumental goals. But just how long are we likely to keep our promises to ourselves?

The end of 2021 came in the same fashion as its beginning–suddenly and filled with uncertainty. It also officially marked two years since COVID-19 (then called 'novel coronavirus') was first reported in December 2019. By now, the pandemic has become an accepted surreal reality for all of us. So, with vaccinations and boosters well on their way worldwide, 2022 comes with a wellspring of renewed light and hope for a return to our nostalgic pre-pandemic past. Thus, resolutions seem more possible to keep and pursue. While many things remain up in the air, there’s always more room for positive thought and looking ahead.

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Resolutions often get a bad rep for being a January fad, so, here are a few things to avoid to keep your goals going well into the end of the year:

1. Focusing only on the beginning

As they say, small things make a huge difference. While it’s exciting to imagine a new-and-improved self–getting there will surely require discipline. If you’re looking to quit or get into a habit, most say, the most difficult part is taking the first step. While that is very true, to keep going requires even more from us than a joyous and exciting start. Take small steps, but take them every day.

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2. Setting the bar too high

A goal has to be realistic to be met. It’ll be much easier to achieve something if you know exactly where you’re going. For a change in your lifestyle, it may be easier to shoot for a nearer distance rather than the stars.

3. Not tracking your progress

If there’s anything to be learned from any physical sport, is that it’s all about consistency. Keep working on your goal and make sure to check how you’re doing. If you’re trailing behind, don’t beat yourself up too bad. And if you’re doing well, be sure to reward yourself. Getting an idea of how far you've made it may encourage you to keep it going till you cross the proverbial finish line. 

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4. All bark, no bite

Stop talking about it and actually do it (which goes for most anything beyond new year’s resolutions).

5. Know why you’re doing this

The ‘why’ matters, however cheesy that may sound. Without it, a resolution is just a pastime. Put in some time to think inward and understand the motivations behind your new goal. Are you looking to finally let go of a toxic habit or trait? Are you finally ready to recalibrate? On days you feel de-motivated, this may be a big help to keep going.

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