Happy New Year! Were you among the masses creating a new series of New Year’s resolutions? Are you usually successful or do you find your resolve wavering within a few months (weeks, or days)? The good news is that even if you struggle there are some things you can do to make sticking to your resolutions a little bit easier this year.
How Bad Do You Want It?
You’re sitting there trying to think of a resolution simply because everyone else is, right? So you try to think of something that sounds good but it doesn’t really resonate inside. You need to choose a resolution because you really, really want it. There should be no other reason. It can be small or large, simple or complex, but you have to want it.
Write Your Goal Down (Specifically)
Write your resolution on a piece of paper. Studies have shown that people with written goals are more likely to achieve them. It helps if you pull out the paper and read it from time to time. Be specific about what you want to achieve. Save money is one thing; save $1,000 is another. Lose weight is one thing; lose 20 pounds is another. Include ideas for how you’ll achieve each goal as well.
A lot of people think they have to create a whole list of resolutions and stick with all of them. Two or three changes in your life will be easier to accomplish than 20. And even if you do have 20 (but why?), you don’t have to start them all at once. If your goal is to live a healthier lifestyle, set realistic intervals and introduce new steps every few weeks. Spend a few weeks focusing on drinking more water; then a few weeks on eating more vegetables; then a few weeks on walking every day. You’ll be able to add new items to your list without overwhelming yourself with too many changes all at once.
Promising yourself that you’ll eat a green salad at lunch every day and then missing a day does not make you a failure and is not an excuse to stop eating green salads at lunch moving forward. Recognize your limitations as a human being, recognize that slip-ups aren’t failures, and move on to the next day.
Create a Reward System
Find a way to give yourself a healthy reward when you do succeed at your goals. If your ultimate goal is to lose 20 pounds, perhaps you’ll buy yourself a new shirt when you lose the first 5. Make sure your reward system is in line with our goals. You probably don’t want to go out and buy a chocolate cake as a reward for losing weight, right?
No matter what type of resolution you set, fitness, financial, or otherwise, make sure you are true to yourself, realistic, and honest. Stay focused on your goals and don’t give up. 2015 is going to be a great year.