It’s that time of year again, the end of December. New Year’s is right around the corner.
And for many – this means new years resolutions.
The start of a new year is the perfect time to turn a new page, which is probably why so many people make New Year’s resolutions. The new year often feels like a fresh start and a great opportunity to change or get rid of bad habits and establish new routines for ourselves.
Of course, resolutions are much easier to make than to keep, and within a few months, many of us have abandoned our resolve and settled back into our old patterns.
One study showed that approximately 12% of people who make New Year’s resolutions felt that they were successful in achieving their goals.
Some of the most common resolutions include:
- Losing weight
- Adopting a new diet
- Exercising regularly
- Making better financial decisions
- Quitting smoking
While many people feel that they don’t necessarily achieve their resolution goals, there is some good news.
Another study showed that those who set New Year’s resolutions are 10 times more likely to actually change their behavior than people who don’t make these yearly goals.
So, what can you do to make it more likely that you will keep your next resolution?
The following tips may help you beat the odds
Choose a Specific Goal
Every year, millions of us set goals to lose weight, be more productive, or get in shape during the next year. Instead of selecting such an ambiguous goal, focus on something more concrete that you can realistically set your sights on. In other words, choose a very specific, achievable goal.
For example, you might commit to losing 10 pounds, making daily to-do lists, or running a mini-marathon. Be sure to make your goal realistic rather than drastic. Choosing a concrete, achievable goal also gives you the opportunity to plan exactly how you are going to accomplish (and stick to) your goal over the course of the year.
Put Time Into Planning Your Goal
Don’t wait until the last minute to choose your goal. Picking your resolution wisely and putting in extensive planning are essential parts of achieving any goal. Experts suggest that you brainstorm how you will tackle a major behavior change, including the steps you will take, why you want to do it, and ways you can keep yourself on track.
Limit Your Resolutions
Don’t overload yourself. Pick one and focus your energy on it. If you want to set another one – do them one by one. Try putting them into management portions and focus one by one. Don’t overwhelm yourself or put too much pressure on yourself.
Start With Small Steps
This goes hand in hand with limiting your resolutions. Taking on too much too quickly is a common reason why so many New Year’s resolutions fail for people. Starting an unsustainably restrictive diet, overdoing it at the gym, or radically altering your normal behavior are surefire ways to derail your goals. Instead, focus on taking tiny steps that will ultimately help you reach your larger goal.
Avoid Repeating Past Failures
Another strategy for keeping your New Year’s resolution is to not make the exact same resolution year after year.
If you do choose to reach for the same goals you’ve tried for previous years, spend some time evaluating your previous results. Which strategies were the most effective? Which were the least effective? What has prevented you from keeping your resolution in past years?
Consider altering your resolution slightly to make it more feasible.
Even by changing your approach the tiniest bit can help you see more realistic results this year.
Remember That Change Doesn’t Happen Overnight
Be patient. Your goals will take some work. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately.
It may take longer than you would like to achieve your goals, but remember that this is not a race to the finish. Once you have made the commitment to changing a behavior, it may be something that you continue to work on for the rest of your life.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask for Help
You don’t have to be alone in your goals. Seek help from close family friends. Explain what your goals are to them and ask them to help you achieve your objectives. Whether it be helping you create meal plans, talking you out of that greasy burger, or just moral support when you feel discouraged. Lean on people around you if you need them.
Stop If You’re Miserable
These goals are meant to make you feel better – mentally and physically. If you are finding them doing more harm than good, there is no shame in stopping. Maybe that specific goal isn’t for you. Do what is best for you!
Happy New Year!
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