The beginning of the new year is a time when we look back on the previous year and build plans for the future. For example, 41% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. And only 9% achieve them. 25% forget about their plans in the first week of January. Do you remember yours?

The funny thing is that according to studies everyone has similar resolutions:

  • lose weight (the top one, by the way!)
  • look and feel better
  • become more productive
  • do more
  • work less
  • spend more time with family/find a partner

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It’s no surprise that the most important goals are to do with health, looks, self-development and family. But why do only 9% succeed? What do you need to change to make it happen this year?

What is it that doesn’t let you reach your goals?

1. Over-ambitious goals

When you plan to “jog in the morning and lose 10 kg” the unconscious part of the brain gets scared and represses those goals.

Solution: formulate your goal in the form of a question, “what kinds of habits would help me achieve it?” For example, substituting nuts for biscuits, Amerciano for cappuccino, and “1 minute plank” for “run”. Micro steps are easy to take, they will make you satisfied by stimulating dopamine production thus motivating you to continue.

2. Abstract goals with no plan

Making a resolution to “learn a foreign language” is not enough. I haven’t learnt any foreign language for 10 years It’s better to think about concrete actions and plan when you will take them.

Solution: plan what you are going to do each month. January — reading an article a day, February — watching a TV series, March — phonetics classes. The most important thing is taking the first step — reading the first article.

3. We talk or fantasize too much

When we passionately talk to other people about our plans, it already makes us satisfied. We get social approval which increases endorphins. The motivation goes down and you have a feeling that the goal has already been reached.

Apparently, the brain doesn’t see the difference between fantasy and reality and thinks the work is done. This is why it’s good not to fantasise too much.

Solution: talk about your plans and goals with people who are actually interested in them and will later ask you about your results. It will motivate you to continue.

4. We do not track our progress

If you can’t yet see the results, it’s easier to give up and forget about your resolutions. It’s easy to see why, the only person who is responsible for your looks, self-development and balanced lifestyle is you. There is no supervisor to tell you off for a missed workout.

Solution: track your progress and get inspired by what you have already achieved and the brain will induce you to continue. Habit or fitness trackers or a diary can be useful. The main idea is to track your progress. Even better if you update someone who is interested in your results.

5. No energy

There are new responsibilities every year — career, kids, mortgage, business opportunities, etc. Responsibilities pile up and it gets increasingly harder to keep the pace. At age 25 the natural amount of energy decreases. At 30 we get tired faster. And the more we want to accomplish the more we demand from ourselves.

This race, stress and lack of energy lead to a crisis. You won’t be able to change your habits or think about your future if you have no energy.

“As we discovered, this is the biggest problem people have. Almost everyone forgets to take care of themselves. We want to achieve something but we never set goals like “learn to rest” to stay in shape.”

— Jane Smorodnikova, co-founder of Welltory

Solution: everything depends heavily on your wellbeing, that’s why it should be the first thing on your list. The more energy you have, the more productive you are. Working on increasing your energy will pay off. Here is how to do it.

Energy is key to success

Energy is the most valuable resource. Not even money, because you can earn as much as you want once you have the energy and health to do that.

The bane of our time is that our responsibilities exceed our capabilities and resources. We don’t have time to relax, recover and think about ourselves. We keep pushing ourselves to do more, but fatigue decreases our concentration span and we achieve less.

This causes chronic stress, burnout and diseases.

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Some depressing statistics:

  • 30% of adults experience stress, have a poor diet, suffer from sleep deprivation and are physically inactive.
  • In the U.S., 70% of all medical consultations are due to severe stress related symptoms.
  • 50% of Americans have at least one chronic disease diagnosed.
  • 66% of people are not physically active enough, are overweight or obese.
  • Poor diet, lack of physical activity and smoking cause 80% of all cases of premature ischemic heart disease.

Productivity, energy and health are 70% dependent on your lifestyle. These things depend on how you keep the work-rest balance every day.

You can control your energy

Good news: you can increase your “battery” capacity. You can wake up twice as refreshed. You can stop being constantly stressed and balance out your work-rest ratio. You can get more things done and work less.

The problem is that nobody teaches us how to control our own wellbeing, neither at school, nor at university.

At Welltory, we rarely hear from our users things like, “My stress level is always high, what can I do.” But you indeed can control it! It turns out, few people know how to recover. And that’s what productivity depends on.

Things that help you feel better:

  • At least 7 hours of sleep
  • Healthy diet: complex carbs, proteins, fats
  • Meditation: it helps you reduce stress and better concentrate
  • Massage or self-massage
  • If you have a lot of mental work you also need physical activity. A lot of things reduce stress and make you energized: dancing, working out or just taking a 10000-step evening walk.
  • If you are constantly stressed at work, a hobbie can help. Something to keep your hands busy: drawing, knitting or clay/plastic modelling.

And don’t forget to track how your habits and actions affect your body. Had an evening walk? Measure your stress and energy levels in the morning. You will most likely have seen that they’ve improved. Taking measurements in the Welltory app will help you find out how a sleepless night, burger, dancing class – or anything really – affects you.

This way you will be able to find your own life hacks and improve your health. Give the app a try and take your first measurement, we support iPhone (Android coming soon).

To sum up: how to achieve your goals

  1. Set a goal, think about what kinds of actions would help you achieve it.
  2. Plan the steps using your calendar, for example, start working on one thing in February, and then add another one in March and so on.
  3. Don’t get carried away by your imagination and talking about your plans, but do share your ideas and actions with people who are actually interested in your achieving your goals.
  4. Track your progress: you can track your habits, keep a diary and set notifications on your smartphone or computer.
  5. Track your stress and energy levels: the better you feel, the less likely you are to fall into relapse and forget about your goals!

Good luck! для себя темпе.{:}

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