Are you ringing in the New Year with your usual long list of resolutions and a promise that this year will be your best yet? Here are some practical tips for making your resolutions last longer than February.
1. Make Them Realistic.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but if you’re serious about making changes in your life be sure you’re goals are attainable. If you have a sweet tooth and vow never to touch sugar again, you’re probably setting yourself up for failure. Besides, who wants to give up their favorite food forever?! A more realistic resolution would be to allow yourself one sweet treat a week. When you are tempted, you know you will have one day that you can indulge.
2. Make a plan.
Be specific. Don’t just say you want to start a meditation practice. If you’ve never done it before, make a plan for starting. Find guided meditations online you can follow or a class you can attend. Make sure your plan includes how many days a week you will practice and the amount of time you will spend meditating. Its easier to keep up with a routine if you have specific guidelines to follow.
3. Stick to it.
Experts say it takes 21 days for something to become a habit. So, even if you have to force yourself to get out of bed in negative degree weather at 4 AM to get your workout in before your first day back to work after the holidays on January 2nd
, do it. Everyone is motivated in the beginning of January, but if you can make it through the first month, you are more likely to stick to your resolutions.
4. Track your progress.
Get a calendar specifically for your resolutions. If your goal is to lose weight and your realistic gym plan is hitting the treadmill 5 days a week, then put a check mark on the days you go to the gym. Not only will looking at your progress be inspiring, marking off days will help you plan so you hit your 5 days every week.
5. Tell people about your goals.
Talking about your resolutions will make you more likely to stick to them because you are being held accountable. No one wants to be all talk and no action. Who knows, maybe you’ll find someone with a similar resolution and you can support each other.
6. Post reminders around your living or working space.
Have pictures or notes about your goals in a place where you can see them. That way when you are tempted to go back to old habits, you will be reminded of what you really want.
“The reason people fail rather than succeed is because they trade what they want most for what they want at the moment.” -unknown
7. Be forgiving.
Of course you should plan on sticking to your goals and resolutions, but if you slip up, be kind to yourself and don’t give up. Nothing is going to be perfect, so remind yourself of the change you really want to make in your life and keep pushing forward.