RESOLUTION TIPS TO HELP YOUR KEEP YOUR RESOLUTIONS
Here are some resolution tips to help you keep yours for the new year.
Every year, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but research suggests only a fraction actually keep them. Things like weight loss and getting more exercise are typically among the most popular resolutions, but this year a new Marist poll found that “being a better person” tops the list. This is generally a time of year when there is reflection about how our year has gone. It’s also a time for people to check in with themselves and see what they can improve on in the coming year. But if you’re like most people, your resolve to get in better shape, de-clutter your home, learn a new language, or “be a better person” likely dissipates by the time February rolls around. The reasons this happens are varied, but experts say there are several common pitfalls that keep people from achieving their New Year’s resolutions.
Do Resolutions make you crazy?
New Year’s resolutions can make people crazy. We set ourselves up for failure because we know that anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of people are going to ultimately get off their path of resolution. Some of the biggest mistakes people make are setting goals that are too broad, too big, or too many. Making a resolution to lose weight, for example, is too general. That does not give you something specific to work towards or a well-defined path to follow. Similarly, if you want to be more physically fit, but have barely gotten off the couch in two years, planning to run a marathon isn’t going to be feasible. And aspiring to not only lose weight and run a marathon, but also learn a new skill, a new language, and a new instrument? That’s just setting yourself up for failure.
We try to set not only too extensive of a goal but also too many goals. And when we try to do all of those, we don’t have the mental and physical resources to be able to accomplish them. Fortunately, avoiding these pitfalls and adopting some strategies to stay on track can help you achieve your goals. Here are some resolution tips to follow. These expert tips will help you stick to — and actually achieve — your resolution for the new year.
Be honest with yourself.
Often times, we set goals because we think that’s what we’re supposed to do. People don’t make their own resolutions out of what’s most meaningful and desirable for them. But they set it out of what other people told them they need to do out of fear or guilt. The motivation doesn’t come from within but comes from outside forces. That doesn’t tend to lead to success. Be honest with yourself. Figure out what is important and valuable to you so you can set a goal that comes from within.
Stick to one thing.
Trying to accomplish multiple goals at once will quickly get overwhelming and only lead to failure. Stick to one goal. Master it and move onto your next goal. Having trouble deciding which goal to work on first? First focus on the behaviors that get the mind and body running more effectively, like exercising, eating nutritious foods, or quitting smoking.
Then take inventory of your goals and figure out which you are most passionate about. Think, ‘If I knew that this was going to be my final year on earth, how would I really want to spend that time?”
Another strategy is to focus on the goals that will benefit you in significant ways. What will better benefit your life, learning how to dance or to learn and be more comfortable public speaking? The goal of public speaking would have the most impact on not only their career but their comfort level in other social settings, as well.
Make SMART goals.
When it comes to setting goals, stick to the SMART method. That means making your goals:
This will help you to identify very concrete and specific steps. You might have a grand goal but let’s figure out what that actually looks like and how you can move in that direction. It’s not that you can’t have those lofty goals, but make them real and concrete. For example, if your goal is to think more positive thoughts, try setting an alarm on your watch or phone twice a day. When it goes off, take a moment to think about something specific that you’re grateful for.
Arrange your environment for success.
Are certain aspects of your environment hindering your progress? Change them. Want to wake up earlier but find yourself hitting snooze every morning? Put your alarm clock on the other side of the room so you will be forced to get up to turn it off. Having trouble making it to the gym? Sleep in your gym clothes to make it easier to get out the door for a morning workout. Can’t stop snacking? Get the junk food out of your pantry and refrigerator. Replace them with healthier options like fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
Chart your progress.
Once you’ve have set your goal. Have a specific plan set for how to achieve it, then track your progress. It is your key to success. It feels good to check things off and cross them off. So that’s very rewarding. Having a visual picture of your progress can also be helpful. If you’ve marked off five days in a row on your calendar where you’ve met your goals, that’s going to really increase the likelihood that you don’t want to break that on the sixth day.
Make yourself accountable.
Take steps to make yourself accountable for your goals to help stay motivated. For example, if you aim to run a 10K, sign up for one and pay for it in advance. This strategy may not work for everyone but it certainly will make you think twice about quitting. Announcing your goals on social media can also help some people stay motivated. Alternatively, simply sharing your resolutions with family members and close friends and discussing your progress with them can help keep you on track.
Celebrate successes and be compassionate with yourself when you slip.
People tend to be harder on themselves than they are with other people. They beat themselves up so when we have a day when we fall down off, instead of telling yourself that you’re weak or bad, tell yourself that you had a bad day and that tomorrow’s a new day to start over. We are all human. It’s important to be compassionate with yourself, acknowledge your slips, and move on.
Similarly, celebrating successes — however small — is important to success. Acknowledge when you had a really great day, or even a really great moment. Figure out ways to be happy, joyful and congratulatory for when you’re doing it right.
These resolution tips will help you be successful in keeping your resolutions year after year. So celebrate with a glass of fine wine. Enjoy boutique wines from around the world. Learn more here!
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