Are you planning on making New Year’s resolutions? Many of us make them, but few keep them.
We may want to improve ourselves, but humans are creatures of habit, and change through willpower alone is tough. However, that doesn’t make it impossible. Here are some strategies for making realistic resolutions and sticking to them.
Make Realistic Resolutions
What is a realistic resolution? Well, it starts with the size and scope of the goal. If your goal is to lose 100 pounds in a year, you may be headed for disappointment. If your goal is to lose 25 or 30, that’s more realistic for the time frame.
This also means narrowing down your list of resolutions. It’s tough to make many changes at once, so focus on one thing you’d like to do.
Break Up Your Goals
Let’s say you’ve made a resolution to get your home completely organized. That may seem like a huge task, but it’s doable if you break it up into smaller tasks.
You can start with one room, or even one closet. We’ve written numerous helpful articles on the topic, including tips on letting go of things you don’t need and how to keep your home clean and organized after you’ve reached your initial goal.
Of course, home organization is just one example. Breaking up your goals helps for weight loss, writing a book, going back to school, and nearly anything else.
Set Goal Dates
Related to breaking up your resolution into smaller goals is setting dates for those goals. If your goal is to lose 25 pounds by the end of the year, then work on losing 5 pounds every two months.
The point is that every goal has a series of steps, and those steps take time. Figure out what the steps are and how long they’ll take, and you can work on meeting each step leading to your ultimate goal.
Keep a Goal Journal
Write down your goal and the steps you’ll need to do to achieve it. As you make progress, write about it. You can also write about difficulties you’re having, which can help you come up with solutions.
All of us can use some help from time to time. If you’re having difficulty keeping a resolution, ask friends for support. You may simply need someone to talk to who can help with motivation. Or, you may need advice. Never wrote a book before? Talk to someone who has and get some tips. Need a workout buddy? Find a friend to go to the gym with.
Sometimes, you may feel like giving up on a resolution. That’s natural. Allow yourself to feel frustrated. Write about it or talk to someone if you need to. Then continue with your goals, anyway. In time, you’ll look back and feel glad that you did.
A great way to keep yourself motivated is to reward yourself when you reach a goal. Maybe after you’ve written the first two chapters of your book, you can treat yourself to a movie. After losing five pounds, you could buy a new outfit.
Whatever you choose to reward yourself with, it should be something important to you that doesn’t undermine your goals. For example, after losing weight, don’t indulge in a huge piece of cake with ice cream.
We hope this helps you come up with resolutions that will improve your life and give you a sense of accomplishment when you make progress on them. Happy New Year!