The Key To Accomplishing Your Goals This Year Is Self-Acceptance
"What’s your New Year’s resolution!?”
It’s a common question when a new year rolls around, and it’s one you will definitely hear come out of my mouth if I catch you in conversation during the month of January.
But I’ve found the excitement around that question dwindles the closer we get to February. Why: Most of us fall of our goals before February even hits.
Research shows that 80% of people who make goals for the new year end up dropping them by the time February rolls around.
According to research from Strava, January 19th is specifically the day most people fall off their resolutions and pick back up with old habits—they've aptly named it Quitter's Day.
And when we do fall off our goals? The first thing we tend to do is criticize ourselves, making it even harder for us to persevere.
Dealing with that fallback can be hard, especially if you’re stuck in a cycle of "false hope syndrome"—it's when you belief self-change is easy, and get discouraged again and again when it proves challenging.
But there’s a solution to Quitter’s Day: It’s self-acceptance.
When we practice self-acceptance, we’re able to look at situations in our life without judgement and build up a capacity for humility. We create space for us to make mistakes while we're making progress.
Reflect on the following four things to help inject self-acceptance in your daily actions.
How’s your self-talk?
The ways in which we talk to ourselves matter a lot more than we realize.
Reminding yourself that you are your most important cheerleader and advocate is a big step when it comes to getting back on the horse with your resolutions.
Take a look at how you interact with your goals—and missteps—in your head.
Are you talking to yourself in a compassionate way or a critical way?
To start practicing self-acceptance throughout your life, take a moment to shift the language you use with yourself.
“I failed to do __ this week, I’ll never reach my goals” can instead sound like ➡️ “It’s OK if I can’t accomplish everything; I am doing this at my own pace.”
Is your ‘why’ the same?
When we commit to certain goals, our why can fluctuate. Honoring the growth that you’ve experienced and accepting wherever you’re at now is a great way to know whether or not you need to readjust your goals.
Check in with yourself and the why behind any resolutions you’ve set this year. If your why changes, think about what it might look like to shift your goals to meet your new motivations.
According to psychologist Marsha Linehan, creator of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, when you’re faced with a new challenge, you have four options: Leave it, change it, accept it, or stay unhappy with it.
Continually checking in with your "why" can help you overcome any challenges that might crop up in your journey and pick one of those four options.
Checking in with your internal motivation can also help you curb burnout in the future and gauge whether or not you have the right boundaries in place to protect your energy as you make changes in your life.
Have you broken down your goals into micro-goals?
Setting a goal for the entire year can feel…overwhelming. But something magic happens when you break things down to the smallest possible level.
For example, my 2020 goals are all about saving money. I have a lofty number in my head, but breaking it down to how much money that looks like every month, every week, and every day has been a game changer.
Making the shift to micro-goal setting can help your resolutions feel manageable and achievable—plus, it can give you an excuse to celebrate small wins all the time.
Do you have the right support behind you?
You could tackle your goals alone, but building a support system will help keep you accountable and also reassured when things get rocky.
Whether you’re sharing your goals on social media, using the Shine community and the Daily Discussion, or forming a self-care circle with loved ones—finding ways to connect with others can help you build towards your goals in smart and help you stay on track.
Your goals might be big or small, but regardless, practicing self-acceptance throughout the year can help make this the year that you knock those resolutions out of the park. You got this.
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