Five Simple Strategies to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick
Now that the festivities are over and done with, it’s likely you’ll find the New Year the perfect opportunity to get started with your resolutions. But let’s be honest, despite the highs of new beginnings, most of us find it difficult to follow through with our goals just after several weeks. Don’t be discouraged; these simple and easy to follow strategies can help keep you on track and yield favorable results.
Strategy #1: Focus on One Resolution at a Time
Getting away with making many resolutions is understandable. It’s a new year and a clean slate to start over after all, but before you jot those goals down, consider the most important resolution you have and focus on that instead. Honoring one resolution at time is not only more manageable but also realistic, especially if you don’t have a clean track record of keeping your resolutions.
Bonus Technique: Make sure your resolution is clear and specific. Avoid generalities such as, “I want to lose weight.” or “I will exercise.” because the grey areas may distract you from your end goal. Instead, change it to, “I want to lose 10 lbs.” or “I will exercise for 30 minutes thrice a week.”
Strategy #2: Find an Accountability Partner
Tap a close friend or someone you trust to be your accountability partner. The ideal candidate should, first and foremost, have the courage to be honest with you when you begin to slack off. They should also, ideally, be someone responsible and dependable. Even better, ask someone you admire so you’re sure to listen to what they have to say. Having someone with you along your resolutions journey will help you stay focused and motivated.
Bonus Technique: After asking someone to be your accountability partner, offer the same service back to them. Ask them how you can be of help to their New Year resolutions, should they have any. This way, you both become each other’s personal cheerleader and a source of pep talks when times get rough.
Strategy #3: Tweak and Adjust Resolutions
There’s nothing wrong with setting your sights on a simple and easy to do resolution. Compared with an unattainable goal, you’re better off tweaking your resolutions to something you can actually do, reevaluating yourself from time to time according to what’s realistic to your circumstances. Of course, there’s always room for improvement, but don’t push yourself if you can’t even do baby steps every day.
Bonus Technique: To help you evaluate your progress, don’t forget to keep track of your efforts. You can do this by keeping a journal or even just scribbling a short note of what you have accomplished for the day. Don’t put yourself down or beat yourself up over your shortcomings. Remain positive and optimistic, and remember that every little effort you exert counts.
Strategy #4: 3, 2, 1, Just Start!
If you’ve been derailed from your New Year plans, or if you lost momentum and can’t seem to find your footing again, don’t dwell and overthink what went wrong. It’s alright to be upset, but don’t let it end there and let your emotions take over. Instead, just start over and take the year one day at a time. It helps to pace yourself, however slow it turns out to be, so you don’t feel so overwhelmed.
Bonus Technique: To help you err on the side of action, tell yourself that any time is a good time to start. After doing some mental and emotional preparation, try counting down numbers and then begin. This gives you room to process all of your thoughts and emotions but with a definite end time.
Strategy #5: Celebrate Your Success
If you think about it, each day actually holds its own success. All of your efforts build up and compound to produce the end result you envisioned. Even though, in some cases, the success of your resolution may still be found at the end of the year, you won’t be motivated without a little celebration every now and then. Go ahead and rejoice, celebrate—don’t be shy to give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.
Bonus Technique: If you decided to have an accountability partner for your resolutions, you can celebrate with them. Positivity is an infectious feeling so share your joy with your family, friends, and loved ones.
So you see, part of keeping resolutions is to consider the approach and strategy. To find the most effective one, it’s best to try different techniques to find what works for you.
What resolutions have you lined up for the New Year? Share them by leaving a comment below!