Set a realistic goal, like losing five pounds in two months or cooking three healthy meals a week. By focusing on small, manageable goals, you set yourself up for success. As the year progresses, you can take on even bigger challenges.
9 Tips to For Keeping Your Resolutions
1. Choose a Specific Goal
Every year, millions of adults resolve to "lose weight," "be more productive," or "get in shape"
Instead of selecting such an ambiguous goal, focus on something more concrete that you can realistically set your sights on. In other words, choose a very specific, achievable goal. For example, you might commit to losing 10 pounds, making daily to-do lists, or running a mini-marathon. Be sure to make your goal realistic rather than drastic.
2. Limit Your Resolutions
While you might have a long list of potential resolutions, pick just one and focus your energies on it rather than spreading yourself too thin among a number of different objectives.
Achieving even one small goal can boost your belief in yourself. For larger goals, consider breaking them apart into manageable chunks to work on one at a time. Focusing on just one behavior at a time is more likely to lead to long-term success.
3. Put Time Into Planning
If you start working toward a goal without any type of plan in place, you may quickly find yourself giving up when faced with any sort of obstacle, setback, or resistance. For example, if your goal is to run three times per week, what will you do if you've missed four days in a row, and how will you proceed if you need to take time off for an illness or injury?
You can start by writing down your goal, making a list of things you might do to achieve that goal, and noting any obstacles that might stand in your way. By knowing exactly what you want to accomplish and the difficulties you might face, you'll be better prepared to stick to your resolution and overcome anything that might sidetrack you.
4. Start With Small Steps
Taking on too much too quickly is a common reason why so many resolutions fail. Starting an unsustainably restrictive diet, overdoing it at the gym, or radically altering your normal behavior are surefire ways to derail your plans. Instead, focus on taking tiny steps that will ultimately help you reach your larger goal.
While it may seem like a slow start, these small incremental changes make it easier to stick to your new healthy habits and increase the likelihood of long-term success.
5. Avoid Repeating Past Failures
Those unhealthy or undesired habits that you are trying to change probably took years to develop, so how can you expect to change them in just a matter of days, weeks, or months? Be patient with yourself. Understand that working toward your resolution is a process. Even if you make a misstep or two, you can restart and continue on your journey towards your goal.
It may take longer than you would like to achieve your goals, but remember that this is not a race to the finish. Once you have made the commitment to changing a behavior, it may be something that you continue to work on for the rest of your life.
Yes, you've probably heard this advice a million times, but that is because the buddy system actually works. Having a solid support system can help you stay motivated and accountable. Camaraderie makes sticking to your resolution more fun, too. So, ideally, find a like-minded pal or loved one to join you in your goal.
7. Renew Your Motivation
During the first days of a new resolution, you will probably feel confident and highly motivated to reach your goal. Because you haven't really faced any discomfort or temptation associated with changing your behavior, making this change might seem all too easy.
After dealing with the reality of dragging yourself to the gym at 6 a.m. or gritting your teeth through headaches brought on by nicotine withdrawal, your motivation to keep your resolution may start to dwindle.
When you face such moments, remind yourself exactly why you are doing this. Think about (or write a list to keep handy) what do you have to gain by achieving your goal. Finding sources of inspiration can keep you going when times get tough.
8. Keep working on Your Goals
Copnsider keeping a resolution journal, where you can write about your successes and struggles. Write down the reasons why you are working toward your goal so that you can refer to them during times when you feel uninspired and unmotivated. Think about what is causing you to falter (such as stress from work or home life) and how to cope effectively.
By sticking with it and working on your goal, you can be one of the few able to say that you really did keep your resolution—and if you're writing down your progress and strategies, you'll have ready proof of your efforts if you're ever feeling like giving up.
9. Learn to Adapt
Encountering a setback is one of the most common reasons why people give up on their resolutions. If you suddenly relapse into a bad habit, don't view it as a failure. The path toward your goal is not always a straight one, and there will often be challenges along the way. Instead, view relapses as learning opportunities.
If you are keeping a resolution journal, write down important information about when the relapse occurred, what might have triggered it, and what you might do differently next time. By understanding the challenges you face, you will be better prepared to deal with them in the future.
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