How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions
It’s very easy to make New Year’s resolutions in the heat of enthusiasm and glowing joy but most of us are more familiar with the difficulty of sticking to the resolutions! It is possible but it does take focus, planning, and a determination to stick with the resolutions for the same amount of time it takes to change a habit, so that the resolutions also turn into new habits. Just remember that New Year’s Day is just another day and that making resolutions on this day is no different from making a resolution on any other day; but it is New Year’s Day so you owe it to 2017 so stick to it.
Pinpoint your most realistic resolutions.
Review the different areas in your life and think about what is working as well as what isn’t. Instead of picking the same old resolutions that you can never seem to keep, like losing weight or giving up smoking, choose an area that you know needs improvement rather than a radical change. Think long term and make sure it’s something you can realistically see happening.
Stop “all or nothing” thinking; it’s better do something than nothing:
Do you ever think, “Well, I might as well get dessert since I already ate those French fries?” And then, “I blew my diet last night so I’ll just restart it next week.” The difference between doing something rather than nothing is huge. If you don’t have a full hour to workout at the gym, just decide to make it the best 20-minutes you can. If you have a slight cold or minor injury, decide to just walk a couple kilometers. If you have a financial emergency and can’t save your full 10% this month, just save what you can. The bottom line is, any effort towards your goal is better than no effort.
Don’t change everything at once:
The “new you” doesn’t have to be COMPLETELY new in January. As you list your goals for 2017, attack one behavior at a time. Maybe cut down on carbs in January, and once you’ve started to get the hang of that, move on to less booze in February, start working out in March, begin guitar lessons in April and so on . Get some support. Tell a friend or your loved ones whom you trust about your resolution. They will provide you with support and keep you focused on your goal. And if you are wavering at all, their support will ensure you don’t give up, just in case you feel like a quitting.
You must set realistic goals and realize that progress is never linear. Some people will see rapid gains only to hit resistance later in their efforts. For others, initial progress may be painfully slow but then they suddenly achieve rapid breakthroughs. Making lasting changes takes time.
Review your progress.
Break your resolution down into stages so you can track your progress. Look back after a couple of months and see what you’re doing right. Try to fix anything that you’re doing wrong. For instance, if your resolution was to go to the gym three evenings a week, perhaps you haven’t been sticking to it because you always work late. Try going in the mornings instead. Making a minor adjustment could be the key to success.
Celebrate your wins:
As you make progress on your goals, make sure you take a moment to celebrate your wins. Send yourself an e-card. Sing out loud to your favorite song and dance around like no one’s watching. Post a celebration photo on Instagram with crazy amounts of hashtags. Enjoy a nice sushi dinner. Or steak. Or grilled veggies. Or whatever you like to eat.