New Year’s resolution time! Woot!
It’s been one week, have you stuck to yours?
I think it is wonderful that we begin the year with so much desire to better our lives and optimism. It’s really a shame that many people are not able to stick to their goals. About fifty percent of people who do make resolutions stick to them through the six month mark and then through the end of the year.
A major part of sticking to your goals is making them achievable. Be reasonable with yourself. Look at where you are currently in your life. Be honest with yourself not judgmental. Facts only no emotion behind it and no labels. Achieving a small goal is better than failing at a big goal. Resolve to change one or two things at a time. Trying to make major life overhauls all at once is overwhelming.
Your resolution must also be specific. Such as lose five pounds a month, save 100 dollars a month, exercise 30 minutes five days a week, eat a salad every day, or spend fifteen minutes a day meditating. Whatever it is, make it as specific as possible.
Part of the reason you want to be specific is measurability. You need to be able to track progress. Nothing inspires a person like seeing the changes. Buy a notebook where you can write your progress down. Make it detailed and include how you feel. Sometimes we don’t anticipate how a change will impact our lives so in the beginning especially the more information you can write down the better. How is your mood? How is your relationship with others? How is your productivity? These are important factors to consider in addition to the numbers of weight loss, miles, speed, or money in the bank.
Once you have decided on an achievable goal TELL OTHER PEOPLE. By involving other people, you gain a support system and accountability. Make sure you tell people who are going to support you and advocate for you. Resolutions are hard enough to keep, having someone who doesn’t believe in your ability to accomplish it is definitely not going to help you. Voicing your goals makes them more concrete too. There is something about hearing them out loud rather than just inside your head. Write them down and post it where you can see it each day. Try multiple places: on the dashboard of your car, on your calendar, and next to the mirror in the bathroom. Create a goal collage by cutting out pictures or printing them off the internet that show your goal tack them up on a pin board where it reminds you visually of what you are striving toward.
Be positive about the changes you want to see. Try to frame them in the most positive light you can. Use words and pictures that are positive and inspire you. Don’t use words that trigger bad experiences or failures in the past. For many people the words diet and exercise are loaded with negative feelings and pictures. Choose other words, fuel and training or gymtime and energy. It doesn’t matter, just something that doesn’t make your stomach turn into a pretzel every time you thing about it.
The final thing is to celebrate your success. Choose ways to celebrate that do not compromise your goal. If you have a goal of losing weight cookies and ice cream are probably not a good way to celebrate. But you could buy yourself a new outfit or have a manicure and pedicure done. Go for a massage if you would like. Think outside the usual reward box.
Best of Luck! I hope you all succeed in your goals.
This is a great post! Far too many people set themselves up to fail by setting unachievable goals or focusing on negatives. I like the idea of telling people to create a kind of support network, great advice. Thanks for the post!