At some time in your life, chances are you’ve declared a New Year’s resolution – and then broken it. But haven’t we all? It’s easier said and done, after all.
But hopefully, for the next new year, stop the cycle of making resolutions and not keeping them. If your resolutions are to exercise, lose weight, start a better diet, or take better care of yourself, you will have a much better year if you stick to your resolutions. You’ve never really have thought about it in depth… until now.
Make your new year’s resolutions realistic – resolutions whose goals are attainable. For example, resolving NEVER to eat your favorite carb-loaded food again is surely doomed to fail. Instead, gradually avoiding it more than you did before is much more attainable.
Be specific in your goal
Every new year, many people resolve to “go on a diet,” “get in shape,” “lose weight,” or “be more productive.” Instead of choosing such a vague goal, go for a more specific, concrete, and attainable goal.
For instance, you commit yourself to a 30-minute workout every day, making daily to-do lists, going for a mini-marathon, or just taking the stairs instead of the elevator in an effort to be more active. Choosing a specific goal also allows you to plan precisely how you will achieve (and stick to) your goals during the year.
Limit your resolutions
Sure, you may have a long list of potential New Year’s resolutions. But it’s better to pick one or two resolutions that you believe you will focus your energies on instead of spreading yourself too thin among several different goals.
Focus on one goal at a time. Achieving even one small goal encourages your belief that you can do it. Taking on all resolutions at once can be daunting, because establishing new behavioral patterns take time and constant effort. Focusing on one specific goal, on the other hand, makes keeping your resolutions a lot more achievable.
Track your progress and reward yourself for small successes
Keep track of your progress. Small and short-term goals are easier to keep and attain, and each small success will help you stay motivated. Instead of losing 30 pounds, focus on losing five pounds, and reward yourself for every five pounds lost.
Stick to it
There’s a rule that says it takes about 21 days for an activity to develop into a habit and six months for it to become a part of your personality. While it won’t happen overnight, be patient and persistent in sticking to your new activity.
Remember that change is a process
And that process can be a very long, slow, and maybe even painful one. It doesn’t go overnight. Those unhealthy or undesirable habits that you are trying to change take a long time – even years – to develop. So, how can you expect to change them in only a matter of days, weeks, or months? You have to be patient. Understand and accept that working towards your resolution may take time. It’s a process. Even if you commit a misstep or two, you can restart and continue on your journey towards your objective.
Always remember that achieving your goals is not a race to the finish. Once you have made a commitment to change your old behavior and habits, it may be a commitment that you will continue to work on for the rest of your life.
Sounds easy, right? But in reality, it can be tricky. It’s much easier to be sarcastic or snappy as a defense mechanism or as a way of coping with insecurities and bad news surrounding us. But remember, if being negative costs you little to none, so does being positive, so do your best to look at the brighter side of things. Aside from attracting good vibes, great people, and wonderful opportunities, being positive is also good for your mental, emotional, and even physical health, so that’s a bonus!