The start of a new year is a great time to turn a new page. Many people do just this by making New Year’s resolutions. Many people make resolutions to lose a couple pounds, start a healthier diet, stick to a budget, or spend more time with family. Although most people go into the New Year with the best intentions the average person keeps their New Year's Resolutions for 19 days. That's right, most resolutions don't even make it a full month before being forgotten or given up on. So what are the tricks to making resolutions and keeping them?
The first thing to keep in mind when making resolutions is to be realistic. The New Year can be a lot like an all you can eat buffet. Anything and everything is laid out in front of you, ready for the taking, but in reality the New Year is just a way of measuring time like a second, minute, or a month. So when approaching your resolutions think about if the goal you are making can realistically be achieved. Do you have the time, resources, and ability to start working towards achieving your goal? Making resolutions unachievable will only leave you stagnant and unhappy with your progress. So be practical!
Make a Plan
An essential part of keeping resolutions is to make a solid plan on how you will achieve your goals. Don’t wait until the last minute to decide how you will achieve your goal. Remember the idea is to keep long term resolutions that become lifetime habits. The best way to do this is by incorporating your goals into your everyday life. A good way to start is by writing down a list of ways in which you will keep yourself on track. One method is to start a schedule. Habits are formed through repetition, so scheduling you week or month with ways to meet your goal is a crucial planning tactic. Get your friends and family involved! If you notice yourself starting to fall off your plan look back at your list and remind yourself of the ways you can start up again.
Taking on too much too fast is a frequent reason many resolutions fail. Instead of a race, work like you're running a marathon. For example, if you want to start saving money choose a small amount to put aside every week instead of a large amount every month.. This will keep the goal at the forefront of your mind and keep it from becoming overwhelming. Working up to you goal is another good idea. You might not be able to accomplish your goal perfectly every time. However, the important part is that you keep trying you best.
The best way to achieve your goal is to keep yourself motivated. So don’t beat yourself up! Rome wasn’t built in a day and your goal won’t be accomplished in one either. There is bound to be bumps along the way. So when you face a bump remind yourself why you set this goal in the first place. Keep your source of inspiration at the forefront of your mind when the going gets tough.
Part of understanding your goals and keeping yourself motivated is keeping track of your progress. Keeping a journal is a good way to keep track of how far you have come. If healthier eating is your goal, keeping a food journal is a good way to keep track of how you are doing. It also allows you to take stock of how much your habits have changed over time.
New Year’s resolutions are never easy, but don’t get discouraged. January doesn’t have to be a month of lost hopes and failed resolutions. Choose achievable goals and be flexible and understanding with yourself on your path to achieving it. Remember, most importantly to be persistent. Keep your mind on the end goal, not the time you stumble along the way.