Strategies For Keeping Your Resolutions
Define Your Resolution
It may be easier to keep your New Year’s resolution if you have a clear concept of what you are working toward. Setting general goals, such as “drink less coffee” or “visit with family more,” can be difficult because there is no clear line to identify when they are achieved.
Instead, try redefining these goals to be more specific. For example, “drink only 1 cup of coffee each day” or “visit with family once every two weeks.” Setting a clear-cut goal will make it easier to gauge your progress every step of the way.
Share Your Resolution
You can create a support network of family and friends by talking about your resolution and asking them to offer words of encouragement and motivation when you need it. You may even find a friend with the same New Year’s resolution, opening up the opportunity to work with them toward your shared goal.
For example, if you and a friend have both resolved to exercise more, you may want to buy a gym membership at the same place and plan a few days each week to exercise together.
Set Short-Term Goals
Most New Year’s resolutions require a lot of time and dedication to accomplish, so setting short-term goals for yourself might make it easier. You can set a new goal for each week or even for each day.
Popular New Year’s resolutions, such as “quit smoking” or “lose weight,” can be discouraging if you try to tackle them head on. Instead, try to first cut down to 1/2 a pack a day or focus on losing those first 5 pounds. The same mentality can be applied to any number of New Year’s resolutions. Chipping away at these goals and achieving small victories can help tremendously in working toward the bigger picture.
Chart Your Progress
Whether you keep a journal, map out a progress chart, or simply put checkmarks on your calendar, it will help you stay focused if you track the progress you make toward achieving your New Year’s resolutions. Keeping track of your goals can also help you notice patterns of successes and shortfalls from day to day, so you can see which efforts are most effective.
Make a Backup Plan
When temptations arise and your strength is running thin, it helps to have a reliable safety net to fall back on. Whether it’s calling a friend for assistance, making a pros and cons list, or placing sticky notes around as reminders, you will find it easier to stay focused if you plan ahead!
If You Slip Up, Don't Give Up
Imagine if a professional basketball player got discouraged and decided to quit the sport because he missed a couple of shots here and there. Likewise, it wouldn't make much sense for you to beat yourself up over an occasional slip-up on your New Year’s resolution.
It may be challenging at times, and you may not always succeed with each goal you set for yourself, but don’t abandon your resolution. Continue working toward your goal each day to the best of your ability. Just keep going!