Sticking to your new year’s resolution
A new year brings many different opportunities and challenges. It’s also the time that many people try and improve themselves through New Year’s Resolutions. But for most, these are often easier said than done. Even if we do manage to start on our lists, it’s usually the follow through that derails our efforts. Despite our good intentions we let other aspects of our lives get in the way of these goals. Here are a few tips that may help you complete some of your 2016 resolutions.
Once you have mustered your resolve and decided to tackle your resolutions, you should try these simple steps to help you get started.
• Make a list
◦ Keeping your resolutions in your head and leaving them at the mercy of your memory may not be the best idea. Treat them like any other important tasks and write them down. If you can write down your grocery list, why not your resolutions?
• Start small
◦ If you’ve decided on several things to change this year, prioritize and do them one at a time. Getting fit, taking guitar lessons and starting a blog all in one month may not be the best approach. You may overwhelm yourself and increase the likelihood of sabotaging your efforts. Start with one goal and once you feel comfortable add the others. You should also take it slow. Ease into your new activities and keep in mind that consistency is the key.
• Be realistic
◦ This goes hand-in-hand with taking it slow. It’s great to have goals and aiming high is not a bad thing, but make sure they are attainable. Having unrealistic expectations will only lead to failure. Wanting to lose 30 pounds may be your ultimate goal, but aiming to lose the first 5 pounds is much less daunting and more realistic.
Sticking with it
Starting is only the first step, now you have to stick to your resolutions.
• Think about why you are doing it.
◦ Remembering the reasons behind any action is a powerful way to reinforce it. Knowing the Why is extremely important. It gives your efforts meaning. Why did you want to get fit this year? Perhaps it’s for your children. You want to be healthier because you want as much time with them as possible. Doing anything just for the sake of doing it is a sure fire way to failure.
• Keep a visual reminder.
◦ Having a visual reminder where you can see often it is a great way to remind yourself of your resolution. It keeps it top-of-mind so you never forget. For example, if your resolution is to drink more water, having a note on your computer monitor will constantly remind you to keep hydrated at work. Alternatively you can use the alarm function on your cell phones as reminders.
• Tell your friends and family.
◦ Telling those close to you about your goals will allow them to be supportive. If you are trying to be more financially responsible in the New Year, and your friends are aware, they may be less likely to pressure you into those impromptu dinners. Your family could support you emotionally if you are quitting smoking for example.
• Keep track
◦ Nothing is more dis-heartening than not seeing results. By keeping track of your progress, it will encourage you to follow through your resolutions. If the results are not positive, then it may help you identify areas in which you need to improve to reach your goals.
Most of us see the New Year as a great starting point to better ourselves. The tradition of New Year’s Resolutions helps to remind us of this. But the key to change is not in the thinking, but in the doing.