Come this January, about 40% of us will vow to change one thing or another about our lifestyle while making our New Year resolutions.
New Year’s resolutions usually fall under the following categories:
- Personal Development
- Weight Loss and Health
- Stress Management
- Personal Relationships
Fast forward a few months later, and 60% of people who made New Year’s resolutions will have completely forgotten all about their resolutions.
But carrying out your New Year’s resolutions can be done.
Here is how:
Define Your Motivation
There are 2 types of motivation:
- Intrinsic – this means your motivation comes from inside. For example, you prefer jogging, going to the gym, or shopping by yourself because you like how you feel afterward.
- Extrinsic – you’re pushed forward by actions outside your personal scope. In other words, you prefer working out with your friends, and work harder when there’s a reward system in place.
Once you figure out what your motivation type is, then all you have to do is put yourself in situations that make you more excited to accomplish even more.
Actions Speak Louder Than Results
Deciding on a goal for the New Year is always easier said than done.
However, it’s the steps you take to reach that goal that ís the tricky part. If you want to stick to your resolutions, it ís wise to break each step down into smaller goals, if possible, to make them more manageable.
Moreover, each time you achieve one, reward yourself and feel proud of what you’ve accomplished. Positive reinforcement is crucial to help guide you as you push toward your goal and commit to your responsibilities.
One way to keep everything in check is to make sure your actions are SMART:
- Specific. Having a specific end result prevents you from making excuses.
- Measurable. Evaluating your progress will give your motivation a boost.
- Achievable. You can set daily goals as a building block to bigger goals.
- Relevant. Otherwise, if it’s not relevant, why bother?
- Time-bound. Goals need to have a defined end date.
Be Honest With Yourself
The more realistic your resolutions, the more likely you’ll see them through.
If your New Year resolves to exercise more, then start small. Instead of planning a 5-day workout week, go for 20 minutes a day and then increase gradually.
You’ll find that, as with all goals, as soon as you start seeing what you’ve accomplished, you’ll be pumped to do even more. However, you must stay away from the ‘all-or-nothing’ approach. Doing something, even if it’s a small piece of what you had originally planned, is much better and more productive than doing nothing at all.
Moreover, it’s equally important to not have too many New Year’s resolutions up in the air at once. Make a list, prioritize them, and go from there. Once you feel the first one ís in the bag, go for the second, and so on. Focusing on one goal at a time will channel your energy and efforts there, and help you to reach your target faster.
Think Things Through
Having a positive mindset is key when progressing towards your goals.
Be smart and anticipate these obstacles so that when they do appear, you’ll be prepared.
For example, if you get bored when you exercise, choose upbeat workout music that’ll get you revved up. Or you can workout at home, as you catch up on your favorite TV shows. If your motivation method is extrinsic, go to the gym with a friend. The idea is to nip it in the bud before it becomes stronger than your willpower so that you can surmount any obstacle that comes between you and your goal.
Be Accountable For Your Actions
Accountability means youíre taking responsibility for the choices you are making. This may seem easy to do at work when you have a deadline and a boss reinforcing it. It may not seem as easy when you are home alone and skip out on cooking a healthy meal, and order take-out instead.
You can enlist the help of a friend or join a support group where you know that you made a certain commitment to someone if it is simply sending a photo of your home-cooked meal on social media, or, you can hang a calendar on your wall with progress notes so you can keep tabs on how far youíve gotten and what still lies ahead.
Keeping your New Year’s resolutions can seem scary at first. However, with these 5 steps, you can do anything you put your mind to. Moreover, once you accomplish your first resolution, you will find that it is not only beneficial, it’s fun as well!