As I write this, it’s New Year’s Eve and of course with that comes the inevitable resolve to change and yet, if you’re like most people, you will struggle with how to stick to your New Year’s resolutions.
According to the most recent article I read, come tomorrow, over 40% of us will vow to change one thing or another about our lifestyle.
New Year’s resolutions usually fall under the following categories:
It’s a noble list of intended improvements, yet fast forward 6 months later and over 60% of us will have completely abandoned all of our resolutions.
The good news is with a handful of helpful tricks, you can learn how to stick to your New Year’s resolutions.
Read on to find out how.
There are two types of motivation:
Once you figure out your motivation preference is, then all you have to do is put yourself in situations that make you more excited to accomplish even more.
Deciding on a goal for the New Year is always easier said than done. However, it’s the steps you take to reach that goal that’s the tricky part. If you want to stick to your resolutions, it’s wise to break each step down into smaller goals, if possible, to make them more manageable.
Moreover, each time you achieve one, reward yourself and feel proud of what you’ve accomplished. Positive reinforcement is crucial to help guide you as you push toward your goal and commit to your responsibilities.
One way to keep everything in check is to make sure your actions are SMART:
The more realistic your resolutions, the more likely you’ll see them through. If your goal for the New Year is to exercise more, then start small. Instead of planning a 5-day workout week, go for 20 minutes a day then increase gradually.
You’ll find that, as with all goals, as soon as you start seeing what you’ve accomplished, you’ll be pumped to do even more. However, it’s crucial that you stay away from the “all-or-nothing” approach. Doing something, even if it’s a small piece of what you’d originally planned, is much better and more productive than doing nothing at all.
Moreover, it’s equally important to not have too many resolutions up in the air at once. Make a list, prioritize them, and go from there. Once you feel the first one’s in the bag, go for the second, and so on. Focusing on one goal at a time will channel your energy and efforts there, helping you reach your target faster.
Having a positive mindset is key when progressing towards your goals, but let’s be honest; every plan is bound for failure if you’re not careful. Be smart and anticipate these obstacles so that when they do appear, you’ll be prepared.
For example, if you get bored when you exercise, choose upbeat workout music that’ll get you revved up. Or you can workout at home, as you catch up on your favorite TV shows. If your motivation method is extrinsic, go to the gym with a friend. The idea is to nip it in the bud before it becomes stronger than your willpower so that you can surmount any obstacle that comes between you and your goal.
Accountability means you’re taking responsibility for the choices you’re making. This may seem easy to do at work when you have a deadline and a boss reinforcing it. It may not seem as easy when you’re home alone and skip out on cooking a healthy meal, and order take-out instead.
You can enlist the help of a friend or join a support group where you’d know that you made a certain commitment to someone, if it’s simply sending a photo of your home-cooked meal on social media.or, you can hang a calendar on your wall with progress notes so you can keep tabs on how far you’ve gotten and what still lies ahead.
An Intrinsic Coach® and enthusiastic student of personal development, I've been actively writing on a range of related topics for over 10 years. The range of topics I share has varied over time, but I try to pick ones that will hopefully strike a chord with you. You may or may not always enjoy everything I write, but if you appreciate the effort please make a point to share it with someone else.
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