It happens every year: we plan for “this year” to be “the year.” We make lists, set goals… then a few weeks later we’ve pretty much forgotten all about them.
Resolutions are great. After all, it’s never a bad idea to have a plan to better yourself, whether in your personal relationships, financially, or health wise. So, want to know how to stick to your New Year’s resolutions? Here are 8 tips.
**Remember, we’re only 2 weeks in, so you have lots of time (50 weeks in fact) to get back on track! There’s even time before “Quitter’s Day,” the day most are expected to give up on their resolutions, which has been predicted as January 19 this year.
How To Stick To Your New Year’s Resolutions
Ready, set, stay resolute!
1. Don’t Think of the new year as a catalyst for major change
January 1 is just a date. Repeat that mantra. Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean you have to make huge, sweeping changes to your life.
Stop thinking of it as a clean slate. Whoa, talk about pressure. No thanks. Push me too hard and I’m gonna push back! Instead, think of it as time to look back at 2019.
- What was really great last year? Which things made you really happy? What made you feel really good about yourself? Answer these questions and think about how you can continue to do those things in the months ahead.
- What do you want to change or improve? Are there things you’d like to build on? What frustrated you or stressed you out? Again, great things to reflect on and make some decisions about what you can do to make things better in 2020.
2. Start Small
Saying “I’m cutting out all sugar from my diet” or “I’m going to work out every day” may sound like common resolutions, but we can pretty much guarantee most have already ditched such lofty goals. Instead, think about small changes that have big impacts. For example, I’m going to:
- Eat more fruits and veggies
- Stop buying that second coffee every day
- Spend more time working on my art
- Start doing yoga once a week
Again, if you’re putting too much pressure on yourself, you may just be disappointed.
3. Don’t Make a Laundry List
Thinking the New Year is all “Go Big or Go Home”? Stop that. If you’re gearing up for 25 different life-alerting resolutions, you’re going to get overwhelmed. And you’ll probably be pretty unhappy. The things you want to change are habits that have often had lots of time to develop. You need time to “undevelop” them.
Remember, you don’t have to reassess everything in your life. Instead, work towards changing one thing at a time. Reward yourself, then move on to the next thing and succeed thanks to the motivation!
4. Tell Others About Your Resolutions
No matter what your resolution is, talk to others about it; friends, family, co-workers. This will help motivate you to stick to your resolution, and they will often hold you accountable. You can also join a support group, either online or in person, to get support from others who are trying to accomplish the same thing.
5. Be Specific
Again with the “Go Big or Go Home” mentality. When it comes to making changes, be specific.
Instead of saying something like “I want to get healthy,” think about how you’ll achieve that. Does it mean working out more, eating better, drinking more water, investing in a few air purifying house plants? (See – that’s a huge resolution!!). If you’re trying to save money, determine what you’re trying to save money for. Is it retirement, a long-awaited trip, a new house? The idea of saving money just to save can be daunting. Putting money away for a new couch? Not so much. Break it down into smaller resolutions.
6. Reward Yourself
What’s more motivating that a prize at the end of the race? If you’re doing really well, reward yourself. Make it big or make it small. Celebrate wins along the way. Decide ahead of time what some of those ongoing rewards will be so you’ll have something to look forward to. This will help you keep on track both short term and long term.
7. Give Yourself Enough Time
For a new habit to stick, consistency is key. You can’t expect to do something 5 times and have it become the norm. You’re not a German Sheppard after all (mine learned to open the fridge in about that length of time).
While some believe that it takes about a month of consistent activity to form a habit, new research shows that it’s actually more like 2 months (66 days in fact). So, give yourself enough time to develop a routine, whether you’re focusing on fitness, improving your productivity at work, or spending more time volunteering.
8. Don’t beat yourself up
Pressure, pressure, pressure… are you sensing the theme here yet?
When it comes to resolutions, minor missteps are completely normal, otherwise everyone would stick to them and this blog would be totally redundant. Don’t give up completely because you splurged on lunch with your friends or skipped the gym because you were feeling lazy.
So, now you know how to stick to your New Year’s resolutions. Good luck. May 2020 bring you all the success in the world, whatever your goals may be!