With every new year comes to the opportunity to start afresh and set new goals for yourself. Unfortunately, many of us struggle in being persistent enough to hold ourselves to our resolutions for more than a couple of months, and quickly fall back into old habits and routines. So to help you rise above the pack and build a new, better you next year, here’s some tips on keeping your New Year’s resolutions.
- Set clear goals. The more concrete the idea of your destination is, the easier it is to chart a path to it. Rather than settling on a relatively vague objective like “losing weight,” determine an actual number of pounds you think you can drop and what’s required to achieve that end. This way, you can schedule your progress and plan routines ahead of time.
- Pace yourself. Modifying routines is tough for everyone, so don’t push yourself to completely revamp your lifestyle on a whim. Build towards your goals instead of setting to achieve them from the start. For example, start by limiting yourself to red-meat once a week rather than cutting it entirely from your diet, or plan a few gym visits a week before making them a daily obligation. This sort of step by step progress makes your end goals more realistically attainable and gives you time to gradually adjust to new ways of life.
- Strive for perfection, but don’t always expect it. It’s easy to feel like all is lost after you miss a couple of gym visits or overeat on a particular weak. However, it’s important to avoid this sort of all-or-nothing mentality. If you feel setback on achieving your goals, let that frustration motivate you to work harder instead of just wallowing and giving up. No individual is perfect, so there’s no reason to feel defeated by setbacks.
- Share you resolutions with friends and family. Broadening your social support base is an easy and effective way of making your success more likely. In addition to gaining a source of encouragement, sharing your goals puts more pressure on you to be successful as can intensify the social repercussions of failure.
- Involve a friend. One easy way to better keep yourself accountable while also making your effort more fun is to share it with someone close to you. By partnering with another person, you become not just obligated to yourself for resolutions like regular gym visits or a diet, but also to someone who is depending on your support and solidarity. Looking forward to seeing a friend can also make the prospect of something like a workout less dreadful and more exciting.
- Keep track of your progress. Taking the time to look back on how far you’ve come can help sustain your motivation by keeping your potential in perspective. Additionally, having a clear idea of what you’ve already achieved holds you accountable to slip ups by forcing you to compare your progress on a given day or week with that of other times.