How-to Start and Keep Resolutions
Another year, another resolution. With the start of 2014, the age-old question will somehow always find its way into conversation: what is your New Year’s resolution? We’ve all heard the phrase, “New Year, new me,” but making resolutions seem to be much easier than actually sticking to them. Whether it is to be more productive, go to the gym more or become more involved in organizations, these new changes seem to always start off well and then slowly slip away with the passing of weeks and months. But keeping up with these resolutions can largely benefit you in the long run and don’t have to be as difficult to keep. Here are some tips to start, and keep, your resolutions.
Make realistic goals:
We all want to make some sort of change in our lives, or we would not be making resolutions in the first place. However, making large goals may seem ideal in retrospect, but can be overwhelming when it comes time to tackle them. Instead, try making smaller changes that can gradually build up to a larger goal. They’ll be easier to achieve and won’t seem unattainable. For instance, making a different goal each month is much more achievable than year long goals.
Remind yourself of your goals:
Resolutions are easier to keep up with if you force yourself to remember what you are working toward. Have friends help you to remember your resolution and you can promise to help them too. Jot down what you want to accomplish and put it somewhere you look everyday, like writing Post-it notes and putting them on your mirror. Set cell phone alerts to go to the gym or write them in your planner. Write motivational quotes on your white-board and keep in your desk. Everyone looks in the mirror so take a dry erase marker and write resolution reminders on your mirror. Remember to do these things monthly.
Don’t be so hard on yourself:
New changes take time to become habits. It takes work to keep up resolutions, so if you slip-up once or twice, just try to get back on track the next day. If you constantly put yourself down when you mess up, it is easier to give up after the first slip-up.
When you do something that brings you closer to your resolution goals, remember to give yourself some praise. If you go to the gym every day, make it so that you can only read that book you’ve been waiting to read while on the treadmill. If you finish work ahead of time, allow yourself time to watch a movie you’ve been wanting to see. Not only will it make you motivated to keep your new habits alive, but it will also give you an excuse to pamper yourself after your hard work. And let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be pampered?
Find a couple of friends who are working really hard to keep up with their resolutions and start a blog together. Write down accomplishments and goals, then read and comment motivational things to help one another. The more you talk about your resolutions, the less chance there is to forget about them.
No matter what your resolution is, the payoff from knowing you accomplished your goal will be worth the effort. The next time someone asks you the usually dreaded question of what your New Year’s resolution is, you can be excited about your answer.