Making New Year’s Resolutions is one thing, but following through on your New Year’s Resolutions is a whole other battle to win. Many people feel motivated to make changes at the start of a new year because it feels like the perfect time to turn a page in life, wipe the slate clean, and start fresh. For this reason, many individuals write down a list of New Year’s resolutions in January because the start of a new year motivates them. You just feel inspired to quash bad habits and establish new routines that help you grow as a person.
Everyone also knows that making resolutions is easy, and keeping them is the real challenge. Most people feel enthusiastic about sticking to their goals at the start of the year, but many revert to old patterns of behaviour by February or March. Following through on your New Year’s Resolutions is the real feat.
This year, you must learn how to stop this unhealthy cycle of vowing to make positive changes and not following through with your plan. You will feel much better about your year if your resolutions come to fruition. Below are 12 tips to keep you in check this year to ascertain you remain resolute, stick it out even when the excitement of the new year wears off, and follow through on your New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Be Realistic About Resolutions
Many people resolve to make a change in their life every year, whether it’s to get more physically fit, start a new hobby, learn a new skill, etc. Researchers say this “fresh start effect” relates to temporal milestones in life, which motivate people to aspire for better things. This aligns with the fact that a new year is a new beginning; thereby, encouraging people to create lofty resolutions every single new year. In other words, leaving the old you behind and looking towards the new you.
Setting these exciting resolutions can indeed present great opportunities, but it becomes problematic when you bite off more than you can chew. The surest way you will fail at sticking to your new aspirations is by starting with something unattainable or unrealistic. For example, promising to never eat carbs or letting go of your favourite food like chocolate will not work. In this regard, you’re just setting yourself up for failure. Instead, strive for something you can attain and sustain.
2. Set Very Specific Goals
Each year, many people promise to become better at being mindful, lose weight, get in shape, stay more positive, and be more productive in the next year. When you analyze these goals, you realize they are very ambitious goals, so you have trouble keeping them. Instead, make a list of more specific and concrete objectives, so you can do them. Make very clear and specific guidelines and action plans as well.
To illustrate, you can commit to losing 1 or 2 pounds every month by slowly cutting back on carbs and increasing your daily steps each week. These are very specific goals that set you up for success. Besides, drastic resolutions are truly hard to stick to, so making achievable resolutions means you are more likely to stick with them throughout the year.
3. Share Your Resolutions With Other People
Talk about your New Year’s resolutions, and don’t keep them a secret. Go ahead and tell your family and close friends about your plans. They will help you stay accountable for the changes you want to make in your life.
Besides, these important people in your life support you to become the best version of yourself. For example, if you decide to lose weight, a family member can share healthier recipes. Likewise, if you resolve to work out more, a friend can also morph into your gym buddy, allowing you to motivate each other.
4. Make Solid Plans in Advance
Most people make their resolutions on New Year’s Eve. But why wait until the very last minute? Whatever you feel like changing will be based on your mindset and emotions on December 31. So instead, you must plan your course of action way ahead of time.
For instance, if you want to get into shape, you can outline how you will deal with cravings and temptations by learning more about healthy meal preparations. You can also enlist the help of a workout buddy to ascertain you stick with your exercise routines. These preparations allow you to get a head start and ensure you start strong on January 1. This will set the tone for the rest of your year.
5. Begin with Baby Steps
Making drastic changes and taking on too much on your plate are just some common reasons why most New Year’s resolutions fail. To illustrate, starting a very restrictive diet or overdoing it with your exercise routine will just impede your progress. When you radically alter your normal behaviour, it will lead to resentment, disillusionment, and fatigue.
Instead, focus on taking baby steps, which will eventually compound and help you reach your goals. For example, if you want to lose weight, focus on replacing your favourites with healthier alternatives. Once you’ve done that, you can tackle another aspect of your diet, like reducing portion sizes or adding more greens. Although it will be a slow start, these tiny incremental changes make it a lot easier for you to stick to your plans. It also paves the way for long-term success.
6. Avoid Repeating Past Mistakes
If you’ve made the same resolutions over and over again but have repeatedly failed, commit to breaking the vicious cycle. Chances are, your belief in yourself to accomplish these same goals will be very low. For this New Year, evaluate your past goals and outcomes. Pinpoint which strategies are effective and ineffective. Then, identify what factors kept you from accomplishing your resolutions in the past years.
From there, you can alter your new resolutions to make them more feasible and attainable. Sometimes, tweaking something such as your approach can help. Even shifting your mindset can have a big impact and help you see better results this year.
7. Make a List and Keep it Visible
When you make your plans, jot down and create a list of what you want to accomplish. The act of writing things down is a commitment that creates a lasting vision in your mind. In addition, it will allow you to feel more attuned with your life so you can make this vision a reality.
Place this list where you can see it to serve as your reminder to stick to your resolutions. Tweak it now and then to keep your motivation strong. It would help to see this list when you falter because it will remind you of that intense desire at the start of the year and help you stay resolute in keeping your goals.
8. Reward Yourself for Small Wins
It’s important to reward yourself for small victories. However, this doesn’t mean feasting on cake or ice cream once you’ve lost a few pounds. Instead, celebrate your success by doing something that doesn’t impede your progress. Stick to rewards that do now contradict your New Year’s resolutions. You can reward yourself by:
- Buying new workout gear
- Getting yourself a new book
- Watching a movie with a friend
- Purchasing funky accessories like a new charm for your bracelet for each attained goal
9. Track and Monitor Your Progress
It is vital to keep track of your progress because you will feel like your efforts are valid with each small success. Besides, short-term goals are so much easier to keep. Each time you hit your target, you will feel more motivated to continue. These benchmarks are wonderful milestones that tell you your efforts are working.
For example, instead of focusing on the 30 pounds, you want to lose for this New Year, keep your eyes on the first five pounds. This lessens the pressure that usually impedes your progress, allowing you to enjoy the journey. Instead, you can focus on measures that work and let go of strategies that don’t help. It will also help you identify potential pitfalls you may eventually encounter.
10. Allow Yourself Leeway for Setbacks
When trying to set new habits, it is normal to encounter the occasional slip-up. However, don’t beat yourself up over it. Obsessing over the workout you missed or the ice cream you ate won’t help you achieve your goals. As the saying goes, if you fall off the wagon, just get back and climb on it again, then move forward.
Try to make your best effort each day. If you make a mistake, assess where you went wrong and make up for it when you can. Then, take it one day at a time.
11. Stick to Your Plans
Studies say that it takes approximately 21 days to form a new habit. Afterwards, it will take another 66 days for this habit to become automatic and mesh with your personality. So as you execute your resolutions, it would help to remember that change cannot happen overnight. Try to stick it out for at least 21 days, and see if it gets easier.
Remain persistent and consistent in your efforts. You must never rush the process, or you will fail and end up frustrated. Patience is key. Besides, good things always take time, just like fine wine needs time to mature, and a pretty garden takes time to bloom. With patience, you can proceed with a clear mind and do more. Never rush the process to avoid frustration.
12. Keep on Trying and Persevering
Finally, it is normal to run out of steam when fulfilling your resolutions. If you are unhappy with the results by mid-February, you can feel discouragement and disappointment creeping in. When this happens, do not despair because even the most successful people hit obstacles and feel lows.
Instead of wallowing in self-pity, start over and recommit yourself to doing what you can for the day. Then, in these 24 hours, roll full steam ahead and do as much as you can. This will build momentum, and you are back on track before you know it. And if needed, get the support you need to make sure you can accomplish all your resolutions.
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