With New Year’s Eve quickly approaching, many of us will set our sights on new accomplishments for the upcoming year. And with this New Year being the start of a new decade, there is a good chance we will aim to accomplish big things. Unfortunately, many of us have great intentions but then struggle with the follow through as we progress through the year. So how do we make resolutions that will actually stick? Below are some quick tips for making resolutions that you won’t break in the New Year.
This may be the hardest part of resolution-making. We have grand ideas and great intentions. We want to accomplish these big things because they are important to us, our health, our family, etc. The problem is that if we are not realistic with our New Year’s resolutions then we are setting ourselves up for failure before we have even started.
Asking yourself if your goal is realistic for yourself or your family is a great way to make a resolution that you can keep. If your answer is no, it is not realistic, then how can you change it slightly so that it is accomplishable? Just because your initial resolution idea is not realistic doesn’t mean that you can’t alter it to be realistic and accomplishable.
Being specific is another main reason why New Year’s resolutions fail. We often hear goals of “I’m going to eat healthier” or “I am going to exercise more.” These are great ideas, but they lack in specificity. When you have these large, general goals, it is easy to not follow through on them. Get specific by stating how exactly you are going to eat healthier or exercise more. For example, “I am going to eat one vegetarian meal and one fish meal per week.” Or “I am going to use the elliptical at the gym for an hour twice a week.” By being specific we make it easier to follow through on our resolutions.
Have a Plan
Resolutions are great and by following the steps above you are on the path to success with your New Year’s resolutions for the New Year. But without a plan of action it is easy to let days, weeks, or even months go by without acting on your resolution. When you make a plan and put it on your calendar, then you increase your likelihood of following through. Write down the days you are going to eat a healthy meal, exercise, go on vacation, spend quality family time together, or whatever your resolution is.
Having a plan could also mean that you are breaking large goals down into smaller steps. An easy example is for those who want to lose x amount of pounds. Having a large number like 30lbs, can be overwhelming. So make smaller goals within the large goal. For example, this month I am going to lose 5 lbs. Then once you accomplish that, lose another 5, then another, then keep it off, then take off another 5, etc. By breaking down our large goals into smaller ones we make them less overwhelming and increase our chances on following through with, and accomplishing, them.
The last thing we can do to keep from breaking our New Year’s resolutions is to not overschedule ourselves. In our world today, overscheduling is a large problem and when we add a resolution that we don’t realistically have time for then we are, again, setting ourselves up for failure. Pick goals that you can easily work into your schedule so that you don’t feel stressed by them. If you feel stressed by your resolution then it will be avoided or you will be resentful about it, making you unlikely to follow through on it. When you can adjust your schedule slightly to fit in your resolution then you are more likely to succeed with it.
By following the 4 tips above you dramatically increase the chances of not only keeping, but accomplishing, your New Year’s resolutions this year. Happy New Year!
Looking for more information about making New Year’s resolutions that you won’t break, check out our blog for more ideas!