Happy 2019, everyone! It’s customary to mark the New Year by setting goals or resolutions, and working towards skincare goals can be a useful means to care for your body’s largest organ. Unfortunately, by the time February rolls around, many determined goal-setters abandon their grand ambitions. So why do resolutions fail? And what can we do to set ourselves up for success?
Focus on specific, actionable targets. You’re less likely to follow through on a nebulous resolution like “have great skin” because it’s too broad and doesn’t immediately lead you to any specific tasks for working towards your goal. However, an objective like “wash my face every night, even if I’ve had a few too many martinis” is specific and achievable. You can even break that goal down into action items—find a cleanser you love to use, make sure you’re keeping up with your laundry so you have a clean washcloth to use every night, set a nightly alarm on your phone as a reminder to start your PM skincare routine, etc. All the better if these action items involve consistent behaviors to form daily habits; consistency is key to making sustainable change.
Even if you have really lofty goals, you can almost always break them down into smaller, actionable resolutions. If you have a vague idea of what your want—maybe something like “I want healthy, glowing skin in 2019”—you could break that up into more specific action items:
- Wear SPF every day.
- Drink 70 oz of water per day.
- Stick to a daily skincare regimen.
- Make good, restorative sleep a priority.
- Schedule an appointment with a dermatologist for an annual skin cancer screening.
Once you see what’s truly required to make that nebulous goal a reality, you can judge whether those tasks are achievable with your current lifestyle. Maybe it requires too many resources (such as time) that you just don’t have at the moment. In that case, you can always choose just a few of those specific tasks rather than the whole list. Working consistently on just a small part of your goal is better than bailing on your ambitions altogether!
In addition to setting goals that are too vague, the all-or-nothing mentality often plagues our resolutions. If we backslide just a little bit, we think we’ve failed completely and there’s no use in continuing. Be kinder to yourself! One bad day doesn’t undo all the incremental work you’ve done.
You can apply this framework of specific, actionable goal-setting to any area of your life, whether you’re setting professional goals to advance your career, goals to enrich your friendships and relationships, or goals regarding your health or hobbies. If you haven’t set a New Year’s resolution yet, there’s no need to wait another year. Any day is a good day to start your journey!