Tips on Making and Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions
The year 2018 is upon us and for most of us that means it’s the perfect time to think about the things we want to accomplish and change, or in other words, the time to create our resolutions. However, as you may have noticed, it is common not to keep these resolutions, causing many to give up on making any at all. But if you do it right, making resolutions can be a very important step towards getting to where you want to be. Here are some tips for making and keeping resolutions.
Treat Your Resolutions As Goals
Usually, the way we state goals is very different than the way we state resolutions. A resolution might sound like, “I’m going to go start going to the gym this year” where as a goal is more target-based and could be worded as, “I will spend half an hour each day jogging.”
Being specific goes hand-in-hand with having a targeted goal. While it may seem daunting to say, “I’m going to spend half an hour a day, three days a week, jogging to lose 10 pounds by the end of July,” having very specific goals can help you achieve them by giving you little to no room for interpretation. A goal such as “I’m going to start going to the gym” can't be fulfilled very easily if you just go every now and then—or even if you go in January and sleep in for the rest of the year.
Be Flexible, Be Kind to Yourself, and Always Try Again
It may sound counterintuitive to a specific target-based goal, but to achieve anything you have to understand that every day will not be the same. This means that sometimes you’ll have to be flexible. Sure you said “I’m going to spend half an hour a day, three days a week, jogging to lose 10 pounds by the end of July,” but some weeks may only allow two workout days, or maybe you only lose 8.5 pounds. It’s important to remember that progress is progress and that you can always pick up where you left off instead of letting go of your goal because you didn’t perfectly execute it once or twice. It's important to show kindess to yourself.
Make a Plan
Instead of stopping at what you'd like your resolutions to be, take a moment to plan out how you’re going to make them happen. If perhaps your goal is “I’m going to 52 books in one year,” go ahead and think about considerations such as: which books you'll read, how you plan to acquire them, how much time you'll need to spend reading each week, etc. This way a lot of the details are planned out in advance, so you won’t have a reason to stall when it comes time to make a move. You can also break your goals down into smaller steps, making your resolutions much more attainable and keeping you on track.
One Thing at a Time
If you’re trying to change some aspects of your lifestyle or create new habits, it may be overwhelming to do it all at once. Plan to work on them one a time. The common adage is that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, so maybe after every successful month, you can start working on forming another habit.
Remember That It’s Just Another Day
New Year’s Day is only special because we make it so. It can be refreshing for some to watch the months reset but every moment is new and if you have a goal, a resolution, a change to make, you can make it anytime.
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