It wouldn't be a new year without the age-old tradition of setting a resolution. Common resolutions include improving mental and physical health. Most people can stick to their changes for a few weeks, but it seems to sustain them is a little trickier - as 2022 has struck you may have been reminded of last year's goals, and you may be questioning why you didn't achieve them. Here are our tips to increase your chance of success and keep motivation high even with a busy schedule.
Writing down your resolutions in a clear and easy-to-understand way can help you to reach those goals. You can do this by brainstorming and jotting down things that make your life more enjoyable, or things you struggled with the previous year. Thinking about a 'why' can also help to inspire you to achieve your goals.
Breaking down each goal into smaller, more achievable targets, can be a great way to make that final bullseye - if you want to run a marathon, break it down into smaller runs each week. Try not to set yourself up for failure by writing down things that are unlikely, like I want a six-pack set of abs by January 2022 when you have spent all of 2021 sneaking cheeky donuts in the break room!
Instilling a new habit can take many attempts and isn't always easy - if you make a mistake don't beat yourself up, but rather get back on the horse. If at first, you don't succeed, try and try again.
Try analysing the situation and thinking about what didn't work and what you can do next time to ensure success. For example, if your goal is to eat healthier and you slip up by eating some chocolate in your house when you are hungry, try surrounding yourself with healthier snacks and even making those around you aware of what you want to achieve so they can help to hold you accountable.
Teamwork makes the dream work - if it's possible, get others in your life involved or get networking with community groups or like-minded people. Chances are many of your fellow doctors will have set similar health goals and will be working similarly strange hours to you, so you can easily go for a run with them when you both clock off, or drag one another out of bed to go for a yoga session on your days off.
Remind yourself of how far you've come and wherever possible track your progress. While day-to-day you may not feel as though you're smashing what you set out to do, take a look back each day/week/month to see how far you've come. This is another example of where breaking down a big goal into smaller goals can come in handy as you'll easily be able to tick those off.
Perhaps one of the best tips for anyone who is living a busy life or with a crazy schedule is to put it in your diary! Force yourself to take 15-minutes every day to do yoga, schedule 1-hour to cook a healthy dinner every night, pre-book your gym classes, or go for a run on your lunch break.
If it's not a chore you're more likely to follow through and do it - that's why it's good to pick goals that you are passionate about. By having fun and inspiration for what you're doing, you'll find more energy and motivation to take the actions necessary to achieve your goals.
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