How to create and stick to your New Year's Resolution
Are you taking the New Year as an opportunity to better yourself? Traditionally, the start of a new year is viewed as the start of a new phase in your life. This year is no different, especially since it is the start of a whole new decade.
Let’s talk about those New Year’s “resolutions.” Have you ever actually kept any of your New Year’s resolutions? Most people give up on their resolutions within the first couple of months of the year. So, what can you do to help you keep your New Year’s Resolution?
1.Change the way you think about it
First things first. Let’s call your resolution your ‘New Year’s Goal!’ Resolutions tend to be all or nothing, an absolute change while a goal is all about your drive to get the results that you desire. Goals provide direction and realistic actions to achieve a dream or desire while resolutions require strict change and a more rigid approach to attaining your resolution.
2.Choose your goal wisely
When picking your New Year’s goal, you need to pick something that is truly attainable and you’ll want to focus on just one major goal. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure by picking a goal that is truly out of reach for example, don’t set your goal to be something like become president of the United States. Instead your goal could be to get a seat on city council, if your goal is to get into politics.
3.Breakdown your goal into more easily attainable steps
Once you have decided on your goal for the year, break it down into “mini” goals. For example if your goal was to lose 40 pounds by Summer time, your first goal could be to sign up for a gym membership by the first week of the year. Then your next mini goal could be lose could be to lose at least 5 pounds in by the end of January.
Breaking down your goals allows for little victories along the way. And each time your reach a mini goal, you should take the time to celebrate it! But be sure that your celebration is healthy for your goal. For example, if your goal is to get more fit and healthy, don’t reward yourself with an ice cream sundae, but a new work out outfit or a fun fitness class that you have been wanting to try would be the perfect reward.
4.Treat yourself kindly along the way
Attaining a goal can be stressful, hard, and may even seem impossible at times. If you slip up and fall back into your old habits, be kind to yourself. It happens and it is ok! Just pick yourself up and start right back where you left off. Don’t give up!
While going through the process of attaining your goals, it is important to also focus on some self-care. If your goal is to go to run a marathon by the end of the year but you wake up one morning and just can’t get out of bed for early morning training, it is okay to take a day off. Just don’t make a habit of skipping days!
5. Get support from those around you
Goals are not achievable without support from your loved ones. Whether it’s your spouse who encourages you to put your running shoes on and get out there or your mom sending you an encouraging note, it can make all the difference when you feel like giving up. But, always remember that you are in charge of your own goal and it is you’re responsibly to keep up with it.
It may also be helpful to join a group of people trying to obtain the same goal as you. Look for fitness classes at your local YMCA or if you goal is to read 2 books a month for the whole year, join a book club.
6.Get out there and GO FOR IT!
Sit down at the start of the year and make a plan for your goal. Set up your mini goals and when you want to reach each of them. You could even go as far as planning (or even purchasing) your rewards for each goal. Have a set timeline to reach your ultimate goal and remember it doesn’t always have to be a yearlong goal, it could be shorter or longer, just be sure to be clear with yourself about your start and end date – no more “I’ll start next Monday” excuses!
This is the time to organize the things you need for your success. Order some workout clothes, make a list of all the books you want to read, research how to get into local government. Whatever your goal is make a plan and stick to it.
Make the commitment to your goal and do whatever you can to healthily get there.
You’ve got this!