A new year is a fresh new start for many, with New Year's Resolutions guiding the charge. Resolutions may be easy to start initially, but how do you make sure they're attainable? Read for tips and suggestions on how to make and KEEP your New Year's Resolutions!
1. BE REALISTIC - The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make your goal unattainable. For instance, resolving to NEVER eat your favorite food again is setting you up to fail. Instead, strive for a goal that is attainable, such as avoiding it more often than you do now.
2. PLAN AHEAD - Don’t make your resolution on New Year’s Eve. If you wait until the last minute, it will be based on your mindset that particular day. Instead, it should be planned well before December 31st arrives.
3. OUTLINE YOUR PLAN - Decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip that exercise class or have that piece of cake. This could include calling on a friend for help, practicing positive thinking, or reminding yourself how the temptation will affect your goal.
4. MAKE A “PROS” AND “CONS” LIST - It may help to see a list of items on paper to keep your motivation strong. Develop this list over time, and ask others to contribute to it.
5. TALK ABOUT IT - Don’t keep your resolution a secret. Tell friends and family members who will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the better or improve your health. The best-case scenario is to find a buddy who shares your New Year’s resolution and motivate each other.
6. REWARD YOURSELF - This doesn’t mean that you can eat an entire box of chocolates if your resolution is to eat a better diet. Instead, celebrate your success by treating yourself to something you enjoy that doesn’t contradict your resolution. If you have been sticking to your promise to eat better, for example, reward yourself with new fitness clothing or by going to a movie with a friend!
7. TRACK YOUR PROGRESS - Keep track of each small success. Short-term goals are easier to keep, and each small accomplishment will help keep you motivated!
8. DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP - Obsessing over the occasional slip won’t help you achieve your goal. Do the best you can each day, and take one day at a time.
9. STICK TO IT - Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit and six months for it to become part of your personality. It won't happen overnight, so be persistent!
10. KEEP TRYING - If you have totally run out of steam when it comes to keeping your resolution, don't despair. Start over again! Try recommitting yourself for 24 hours - you can do anything for 24 hours! The short increments will soon build on each other, and before you know it, you'll be back on track!
Whether we resolve to return everything we borrow or drop a few pounds, we’re tapping into an ancient and powerful longing for a fresh start! We just have different ways of reflecting and resolving to do our best in life. Good luck to you and Happy New Year!
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