By now we’ve reached the point in the year when we’ve all experienced a setback or two with our New Year’s resolutions. Maybe you skipped working out for a week, or you got really busy with school and plans and forgot to apply for a job yet. That’s perfectly okay. You’re not a failure, you’re just human. But in order to minimize those setbacks and in turn maximize productivity, it’s important to hold yourself accountable. Here are some of my favourite ways to do just that:
Keep track of your progress.
This is preferably done in a place where you’ll see it regularly and be reminded of your progress (more than your failures). Write to-do lists in your planner every day, post your weekly goals to your walls and keep track of every day you do something, write in a journal what you did that day towards accomplishing your goals. Eventually, you’ll get tired of recording the fact that you didn’t do much, and you’ll feel more motivated to reach those goals.
Set daily reminders.
New habits are difficult to start, so there’s no shame in setting little reminders for yourself throughout the day. Using a website or app to track your progress may be best for this, as a lot of them will send you daily emails/notifications. Otherwise, just schedule reminders on your phone for a convenient time of day when you won’t just ignore it.
This is a tricky one, so really just try your best. Indulging sometimes is important, but try limiting those things – a cheat day on Saturday, an hour of studying for ten minutes of social media. If you have a Mac, the self control app is amazing for this purpose, and I’m sure there are some decent Windows alternatives.
Make it a habit of reminding yourself why you’re doing this (and that it’s okay to take a break).
Sometimes you’ve missed your work out and you’re stressed out and you just really need some junk food. Sometimes you’d rather watch a show on Netflix than read a new book. It’s okay to take breaks – don’t work yourself so hard that you hate what you’re doing. Just remind yourself of the bigger picture: why you started making this change in the first place. Take a break, and get back to it.
Tell people what you’re doing.
Now, there’s this great saying “there’s no glory in the process,” which means that instead of talking about something it’s better to just do it, and be outwardly proud after you’ve accomplished something. That said, telling people what you intend to do means that it’s out there in the world, and there’s no taking it back. If you’ve been talking about getting a job for weeks, your friends and family will start asking you about that progress, and you won’t want to tell them you haven’t started applying yet. Let the people close to you know what you’re trying to do, so they’ll help keep you accountable.
I hope some of these tips will help you get back into the swing of things. Just remember, we’re all struggling, but progress is important. Making changes takes time, and you’ll have to adopt any strategy for your own needs, probably trying out different ones and switching around. That’s perfectly fine. Eventually you’ll find a system that works for you and begin to build new habits that help you reach your long-term goals. If you have any other tips, feel free to leave them in the comments! x.