As January 1 approaches, many of us find ourselves determining to stick to a resolution, be it losing weight, better budgeting, or even being kinder. However, despite our best intentions, estimates show that more than half of those who set a resolution are not able to keep it. As it turns out, there are some strategies behind keeping those promises.
- Pick a realistic goal, and break down the larger goal into smaller achievements. Many individuals will decide on a rather grandiose resolution, such as losing 50 pounds. While you may eventually reach this number, consider setting a goal such as losing 5 pounds per month.
- Keep track of your progress. There are literally dozens of apps out there designed to help with money, weight loss, meditation, time management… the list is endless! For those of you who may be less technologically-inclined, consider starting a Resolution Journal. It can be any small notebook or pad, but find time to jot down the successes – and bumps along the road – to your resolution. Which leads to the third tip…
- Don’t quit just because you might slip. To err is human; at some point, each of us will lapse on our goal. However, it’s not the mistake but how you respond to it that indicates whether you will reach your goal. Accepting the mistake and deciding to recommit can actually re-motivate you, as opposed to deciding that all efforts so far have been a waste.
- Use the buddy system. Nothing helps motivate you like having a friend alongside to pull you out of the days when you really don’t feel like going to the gym, etc. Likewise, being a source of motivation for your friend on his or her low days can also be a reinforce to yourself, as well.
- And finally… Celebrate your progress periodically! As you reach smaller goals or even just make it through the first four weeks, allow yourself to pause and reflect in your hard work or commitment. On a day like this, you may choose to treat yourself to a cupcake or glass of wine, take a day off from the gym, or buy yourself that book you’ve been eyeing… treating yourself is a great way to positively reinforce the work you’re doing. Just be sure to get back on the wagon the next day!
This year, Ryan and I are recommitting to eating nutritiously. We have created a chart of foods that we can eat regularly, foods we should try to never have, and how often we are allowed to treat ourselves! What are your goals for 2018? Any great tips? I would love to hear from you!