We all make New Year’s resolutions because the end of the year is the time to close the chapter on the things not working in your life and to introduce new goals that will work for you. While every one of us has the best of intentions when New Year goals are set, we seldom stick to these objectives. Set yourself free with tips to achieve your New Years resolutions!
Do Not Leave Everything for January
It is so much easier to tell yourself to leave everything for January, the new start to your New Year you could be setting yourself up for failure. If you leave all your resolutions for the first month when you’re back at work and into life after the holidays, it becomes too overwhelming to manage.
Instead of promising yourself a plethora of changes in the New Year, start early and make it a gradual habit or lifestyle change that becomes easier to transition into. For weight loss, start a new exercise plan with a daily walk or cut out sugars in your steps to get closer to achieving your goal weight.
Find Reliable Support
Sticking to personal goals is hard on your own. Rope someone in you can trust such as a friend or family member. Call on them when you need motivation and get them to call you out when you fail to stick to your plans.
Set Realistic Goals
A goal to lose 10 pounds in one week when you have not been able to achieve this in a month is unrealistic. It also leaves you feeling defeated. Make your goals realistic. It becomes easier to attain and motivates you to achieve your next set of resolutions.
This New Year, plan your goals realistically and carefully. Avoid the pressure and do things that feel comfortable for your needs. This can help you reach those resolutions far more efficiently and effectively.
Keep your resolutions simple.
Sometimes people find themselves aiming for an overhaul of their entire lifestyle, and this is simply a recipe for disappointment and guilt. It may be understandable at this time of year, when self-improvement is on your mind, but experience shows these things can’t all be achieved at once. The best approach is to focus clearly on one or two of your most important goals.
But which to choose? Well, you might like to concentrate on those that will have the greatest impact on your happiness, health and fulfilment. For example, giving up smoking will obviously improve your health, but it will also give you a sense of pride and will make you happy (but perhaps not immediately!)
Don’t aim too high and ignore reality – consider your previous experience with resolutions. What led to failure then? It may be that you resolved to lose too much weight or save an unrealistic amount of money. Remember, there will always be more opportunities to start on the next phase, so set realistic goals. Or if you don’t want to hold back, set clear short-term goals on your way to a big achievement. Which leads to tip number four.
Create bite-sized portions.
Break goals down to manageable chunks. This is perhaps the most essential ingredient for success, as the more planning you do now, the more likely you are to get there in the end. The planning process is when you build up that all-important willpower which you will undoubtedly need to fall back on along the way. Set clear, realistic goals such as losing 5 pounds, saving $30 a month, or going for a run once a week. Decide exactly how you will make this happen.
Plan a time-frame.
In fact, the time-frame is vital for motivation. It is your barometer for success, the way you assess your short-term progress towards the ultimate long-term goal. Buy a calendar or diary so you can plan your actions for the coming weeks or months, and decide when and how often to evaluate.
Having made a note of your time-frame, you will have a physical reminder of what you’re aiming for. Now go further and write down the details of your resolutions in a notebook, remembering to add your motivations. You could keep a scrapbook for this purpose, and fill it with photos of your slimmer self, pictures of sporting or hobby equipment you are saving for, or even a shocking credit card statement to spur you into action! If your resolution will directly benefit your partner, children, colleagues or friends then add their photos too – anything to remind you of your initial motivation.
When making your plan, a vital feature should be the rewards and treats you will give yourself at those all-important milestones. But be warned, don’t fall into the trap of putting your goal in danger – it’s too easy for a dieter to say “I’ve been so good, I deserve a few candy bars”, or a saver to throw caution to the wind with a new purchase. One slip, and it could all be over.
Don’t give up!
Do bear in mind that a slip-up is almost inevitable at some point, and you must not let this become an excuse to give up. When it happens, you will need to draw on your reserves of self-belief and strength, so build these qualities as often as you can. Really feel proud of your past achievements and don’t become critical of yourself. People with higher self-esteem and confidence are in a much better position to succeed, so immediately forgive yourself and say “I’m starting again now!”
Put yourself in charge.
These achievements are under your control – other people can advise and support you but it’s your actions which need to change to see the results you want. Having a strong sense of control over your life is necessary to stick with your plans. Those who blame everyone and everything apart from themselves will not have the resources needed to change. Yes, it’s scary to take responsibility for your future, but surely it’s better than the alternative?
Now you’ve read these tips, you are in a great position to consider the best ways to improve your life this New Year. Your happiness is worth the time and effort, so get started, and good luck!