Every January 1, millions of people set out to improve their lives through the use of the ubiquitous New Year’s resolution. And every year, millions of people have already fallen off of the wagon with their goals by the end of January. So how do you make a resolution that actually sticks? Here are just a few tips to help you to set realistic goals that you will reach.
Be Specific with Your Goal: You will increase your chances of reaching your goal if you are specific in your initiative. For example, rather than making your resolution to eat healthier in 2021, try being more specific with your plan. That may be eating five servings of vegetables per day or drinking 64 ounces of water each day.Read More »
Do Not Overwhelm Your Resolution List: Many people make the mistake of setting too many resolutions at once. It is far better to pick just one or two resolutions and focus your time and efforts on achieving that. You cannot expect to change your entire lifestyle with just the flip of a calendar. Narrowing your efforts to one behavior that you would like to change boosts the chance that you stay with it for the long haul.
Start Small: Boost your chances of success by starting small with your resolutions. Many people fail in their resolutions because they bite off more than they can chew in the initial stages. For example, beginning a restrictive diet that allows for no wiggle room will only serve to derail your plans. Instead, focus on small changes that you can make every week so that you are where you want to be overall in a few months.
As a bonus, these incremental changes will be more likely to stick than trying to do too much at once. It will also serve as great motivation as you are able to see success in these smaller and more manageable steps.
Move Away from Failures: Many people make the same resolution to lose weight every single year. If something has not worked for you in the past, do not keep coming back to that same goal over and over thinking that this year will be the time that it sticks. Instead, try to mix it up with something fresh.
For example, instead of making a general goal to lose weight, decide that your resolution will be to be active four times per week. You are setting yourself up for failure if you keep coming back to the same unreached goals.
Solicit Support: Before you launch into your new resolution, be sure to vocalize your intention to others. Not only will this keep you more accountable for actually achieving the resolution, but it will also help you find people to provide you with support. Even better, try finding people who share the same resolution as you do. This will give you extra support and accountability while making it more fun in the process.
Accept Setbacks: Those individuals who are most successful in reaching all of their New Year’s resolutions are the ones who accept that there will inevitably be setbacks along the way. You are never going to encounter a perfect path on your road to reach your goals. Instead, you need to accept that there will be roadblocks in your path.
Maybe it is an illness or a family emergency that sets you back. Regardless of the setback, it is important that you give yourself permission to veer off track. This grace will make it more likely that you hop back on the horse and continue where you left off.
Track Your Progress: It can be challenging to see the forest through the trees when you are just starting out on your adventure to reach your resolutions. Tracking your progress will provide an invaluable source of motivation as you move through the journey.
You are not alone if you lose all motivation a few months into the year. By tracking your progress in a journal or digitally, you will be able to look back and see how far you have come. This will inspire you to keep putting one foot in front of the other. It is important to remember that this is not a race. You will be more likely to make this a permanent lifestyle change if you work your way up to reach your goals.
The new year always feels like a new beginning and the perfect chance to make some meaningful changes in your life. Make it count by making intentional resolutions that you can actually keep and be proud of reaching.
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