This time of year is full of stories about the season of resolutions. The turn of the calendar always coincides with self-made vows to improve one’s self.
Yet while millions of Americans try valiantly to stick to new regimens designed to lose weight, start a new hobby, exercise more, or other worthy goals, inevitably most falter. Knowing how to keep New Year’s resolutions can keep those pounds off, gym memberships active, and new activities fruitful.
Here are a few suggestions for how to maintain those resolutions.
1. Keep It Single
Many people have trouble because they try to change too much at once. A better approach is to focus on one resolution you want to keep and focus your energies on that goal. After you feel you’ve mastered one change, you can consider another, but biting off more than you can chew often leads to failure.
2. Know Thyself
Part of the approach to successful resolutions lies with being honest to one’s self. Think about what’s most meaningful and important to you. That’s where you should start. Resolutions based on what others think you should do or out of guilt are a sure-fire path to failure.
3. Be Specific
Don’t keep your resolutions broad, e.g. losing weight, developing a comprehensive new business strategy, or going to the gym. Instead, add specificity to those goals, such as losing 20 pounds or going to the gym 3 days a week. Bite-sized, specific goals are less overwhelming.
4. Measure (and Celebrate) Progress
One advantage of setting specific goals is that you can monitor your progress, measuring the incremental advances you make into the new year. And when you hit milestones towards your ultimate goal, you should reward yourself in some way.
Celebrating successes and forgiving lapses are good ways to provide self-care while changing habits.
5. Create Space for Success
Are there things in your personal or work environment that make it difficult for you to achieve the successes you desire? If so work to eliminate or modify those elements so you are more prone to thrive. These small changes, such as donating the foods in your pantry that are not helping you meet dietary goals, can work wonders and reduce temptation.
6. Be Kind To Yourself
None of us are perfect. There will be a week when you don’t make it to the gym three times. Does that mean failure? Not at all. It’s merely a setback that is perfectly reasonable … and human. Don’t let these momentary lapses steer you off track. Instead, learn from them and then let them go. You will feel better and be more successful if you are not overtly critical of your progress.
7. Share Your Goals
Friends, family, and coworkers can be remarkable sources of strength and support during your journey toward successful resolutions. Sharing your resolutions with them and asking for their advice and support during your work to achieve your goals can give you a network of people helping you succeed.
8. Draw Up A Schedule
It’s not unusual for our days to be hectic and frenzied. That’s why scheduling the key tasks, and giving yourself the right amount of time to complete them is important for success.
Resolutions can be a powerful way to facilitate self-improvement. Planning, communication, and support are key to starting the new year off right.