Sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions

Now you may think it’s a bit early but I’m already starting to think about my New Year’s Resolution.  

Whether it’s for the betterment of themselves or for others, every year many people optimistically, and with the best intentions, put together their resolutions.  Maybe it’s to be healthier this year or to be more empathetic to others or to read the news more.  These are all great and wonderful ideas and yet, most resolutions fail or people give up after a month or so.  

Why is that?  In this post I want to discuss reasons why resolutions fail and how to set yourself up for success.

1. START EARLY

As I said, I’m already thinking about my resolutions now.  I want to consider what matters most to me and what I personally really want to work on.  New goals can be set any time of year but I feel as if resolutions are special.  They are that extra special “thing” and it’s a time when most everyone else has set theirs so there is more support from others and it’s an optimistic time so you really want to think about what YOU want.  Once you’ve started thinking about it and have committed to a resolution early, it will be more concrete in your mind.

2. BE SPECIFIC

So maybe you want to work out more or be healthier.   These are wonderful goals but how are you going to do it?  Because these are so vague, it’s easy to forget over time and just quit.  A more specific goal would be to drink 8 glasses of water a day to be healthier or to plan on going to the gym 3 times every week.  It is a goal you can measure with a concrete, “did I complete my goal this week or no?” answer.

3. THINK SMALL

This may sound strange, but when it comes to resolutions, think small.  For example, if you don’t work out at all and decide you want to become more fit and work out daily, you want to stick with something you will actually do now and in the long run.  When the year is new and your goals are set in your mind, maybe you’ll be enthusiastically going to the gym every day or running every morning but over time your old schedule may start to take hold as your dedication wavers.  Maybe instead, you could plan on doing 20 push ups, 30 squats and 30 crunches every morning.  It is smaller, specific and would only be a small change to your current habit.  By setting a smaller, more obtainable goal you set yourself up for something that will last in the long run.  After all, once you get into the habit of doing that goal then you can always add to your goals later.

4. HAVE A PLAN

Now this is key and relates to starting early.  Little or big, for all goals to succeed you need a plan.  It may sound silly but one year I made my resolution to start flossing once a day every day but I never made a plan and when it got around to the new year, it never happened.  If I had really committed to my goal, I would have bought floss in advance (maybe several different types so that I could find which type I preferred) and set it up nicely in my bathroom, put up notes on my mirror to remind myself to floss every evening etc.  A resolution is something you’ve never done before or if you have done it before, haven’t succeeded so you need to put together a plan of action to set yourself up to succeed this time around.

Anyway, hope you all don’t mind this post not relating to food but it’s an important topic for me and I hope that if you are planning on making resolutions in the coming year that this will help.

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