Are you decided to reinvent yourself in the coming new year? Or at least take the new year as a long overdue excuse to get rid of your old bad habits or take up new ones?
It’s rather unfortunate that more than half of all New Year’s resolutions end up in failure. But for the coming new year, they don’t have to be yours. Here’s how to pick the right resolution that you’re sure to keep and improve your life. Make a plan on how to achieve it and become one of the small group of people who have successfully reached their goal.
Pick only one thing
If you need to change your life (or lifestyle), don’t try to change everything at once. It will never work – and leave you frustrated. Instead, pick one area that you really need to change or improve on.
Make your resolution more concrete so that you exactly know what change you’re planning to make. If your first attempt at change becomes successful, then you can proceed with another plan for change after a month. Make one small change at a time. By doing so, you will have the chance to become a whole new you at the end of the year. It’s the realistic way of doing it. Your confidence will also grow knowing that you can make the change.
Get specific with your goals
“Save money” or “avoid alcohol” is a good goal. But how can you do it? How much money will you save, or how much alcohol will you avoid? If you’re not specific with your goals, your best intentions will get lost in the shuffle. Be more detailed with your resolutions, such as, “I’m going to save $20 a week by eating out less” or “I’m going to limit my alcohol intake by only one or two drinks every month.” By being specific with your goals, it is a lot easier to stay focused on what you have to do to succeed.
To make sure that your new year’s resolution will be successful, you need to research the change you’re making. Plan ahead so you have the resources available when you need them. Read books or read online articles about the subjects related to the goals you’re planning to make. Whether it’s quitting smoking or drinking alcohol, taking up running or yoga, or becoming vegan, there are resources to help you prepare for it.
Get everything ready so that things will go smoothly as you’ve planned. If you’re taking up yoga, make sure you have a comfortable space for it. Bring out the exercise mat, mat towel, comfortable fitness clothes, bottles of water, and soothing music to put you in the mood to start stretching.
Make your resolutions public
When you make your resolutions known to the public, it holds you accountable so it’s harder to back out. Sharing your resolutions with other people will also make you more likely to achieve them. Tell your best friend about your New Year’s resolution and talk with them about it regularly to make sure that you’re on track. Better yet, get them on board so both of you are working toward the same goal.
Reassess your goal
Reevaluating your goals throughout the weeks and months to get there is essential. As you are making changes, you may find out that your original goals were a little unrealistic. Instead of sticking with your original goals once you find out they’re probably unachievable, feel free to make adjustments as you see fit. Some changes in scheduling or lifestyle will also play a large part, so look at them and revise your goals to make sure they fit in. Then discuss this with your friend or someone you’ve shared your resolutions with, or write it down.
Remember that it’s okay to fail
If you do falter and sneak a cigarette or forget to take a morning jog, don’t hate yourself for it. You’re not alone – having a lapse is pretty common among all of us. What really matters is how you’ll deal with it. Make a note of the triggers that caused these setbacks and figure out how to prevent them from happening again. If you know that alcohol makes you reach for cigarettes or oversleep the next day because of watching late-night movies, cut back on it. Keep on persevering and you’ll succeed.
Celebrate your small successes
Small rewards are fantastic incentives to keep you going, especially during the most challenging first days and weeks. It’s even crucial.
If you focus too much on the result, it will be harder to achieve your goals and end up feeling frustrated. Instead of waiting to lose all 10 pounds, give yourself a small reward every time you lose two. After that you may want to reward yourself once a week with a new book or magazine, a trip to the movies, a siesta, or whatever ticks your fancy.
Later you can change your weekly rewards into monthly ones. Then at year’s end, you can celebrate your success with an anniversary reward. You should have something to look forward to keep you motivated. You’ll earn it because you deserve it.