It’s the time of year again when we all gather to celebrate the New Year and make the resolution that it will be a better and more successful year than the one before. We’ve all made our New Year’s resolutions in years past, and while some of us meet with success, many of us flounder our goals before January is over. This year, however, really can be different. Here are some sure-fire ways to make sure that you make the best resolutions for your life and actually stick with them this year.
You might be surprised to hear that most New Year’s resolutions are doomed from the start. By making too many resolutions or by having unrealistic expectations, you are really just setting yourself up for failure and disappointment down the road. Keeping the number of resolutions under five is ideal.
Tip 1: Focus on a Goal
Make one of your resolutions the main focus, the one major goal you want to have for this year. Then make a couple of small resolutions that will keep you motivated and help you improve the smaller facets of your life. Make sure all of your goals are attainable and realistic. Don’t promise to exercise three hours every day or to read all of Shakespeare’s works within a month. Instead, make a commitment that you have a good chance of keeping.
Tip 2: Make a Plan
It is important to have a plan of action for any resolution, but especially for a major one. Plan the small steps you will take to attain your goal over the next year. Also, plan what you will do when you are tempted to give up on your resolution, like having an internal-dialogue ready or calling a close friend who knows about your goal. Writing your plans down and keeping them in a place where you can see them on a daily basis will help you stick to your resolution.
Tip 3: Recover Lost Commitments
Part of making realistic resolutions is realizing that you will have a day or even a week where you fall off track and lose commitment for your goal. This is normal, human behavior, and it will happen to everyone. What’s important is that you get back on track and renew your commitment to your resolution. Think positively about the steps you have achieved so far, and be confident that you can keep going. It takes time to build a habit into your life. The longer you stick with your goal, the better you will feel and the easier it will become.
Tip 4: Reward for Good Behavior
Sticking it out through the hard times is important, but so is rewarding yourself for the successes you’ve had. When you’ve accomplished a small part of your goal or stuck to your resolution for a certain amount of time, reward yourself! The best way to reward yourself is with something that coincides with your goal. If your resolution is to lose weight and you’ve lost five pounds, go buy a new outfit that you can enjoy wearing now that you are becoming a healthier person. This will not only be a reward to you now, but it will help you stay motivated to achieving your goals in the long term.
Tip 5: Create a Support System
Having a support system can be vital in staying committed to your New Year’s resolutions. Telling your family, friends, and even co-workers about your goals will keep you motivated to stick with them and reach success. These people can be very helpful when you are having a hard time sticking to your resolution and they will help you celebrate as you successfully keep this year’s resolutions.
The path to success may not be the easiest road, but it is certainly possible for everyone to keep their New Year’s resolutions and reap the benefits in the upcoming year!