It’s the end of a decade. When you think back to how far you’ve come, do you feel proud? Are there still things you never did but wish you could’ve? How many times did you see the same resolutions and never completed them? I find it crazy to think that at the start of this decade, I wasn’t even dreaming about college. I didn’t even know I would be living in Florida. There is so much that can change in a moment and even more that can change in 10 years. When you set your New Year’s resolutions this time, you are setting yourself up for an entirely new decade. No pressure or anything. The trouble is that setting them is the easy part, but holding yourself to them, that is another matter. Here are some tips to help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions.
1. Don’t make them unattainable
The trouble with a new year is that we are so overwhelmed by the new possibilities and the fresh start that we set our goals too high. There is nothing wrong with a big goal, expect when we become overwhelmed by them For example, maybe your goal is to lose 60 pounds. Losing weight requires a lot of discipline and a change in habits. Not to mention, you will have to utilize trial and error to find what works for you. In one week, a healthy weight loss will be 1 to 2 pounds and this will fluctuate. When you consider this it could take several months before you reach your goal and you may end up let down before you can reach it. When it comes to setting your goals, make them attainable; and when you reach it, you can set a new goal. So, make a goal that you know you will have the time and care to keep when making a big goal.
2. Don’t give yourself a time limit
The thing about time limits is that they are meant to push us to work at something, but oftentimes we end up discouraged when we aren’t able to meet them. It could take you two months to get a novel started, or it could take you the entire year. When you set your goals, refrain from setting a time limit because success does not know a time limit and things work out when they should. Instead of setting a time limit, make a note of when you will work on it and hold yourself to it until you have met your goal. Another issue we face is not getting something done in time and swearing it off altogether, telling ourselves it just wasn’t meant to be.
3. Setting a health goal
One of the most popular goals is a health goal, whether it is to begin weight lifting, lose weight, gain weight, or be able to bench 150 pounds. Our health is important and we know that, so maybe that is why it always finds its way into our New Year’s resolutions. Setting a health goal has its own advice because it is the resolution we so often don’t keep. My biggest tip with setting a health goal is to be patient and kind to yourself. Your progress won’t come in a week, or even a month. And, on that note straying from it (e.g. taking a week off of the gym; eating a slice of cake) does not mean you ruined it all and you should just give up. Being healthy is a lifestyle that you choose and it means having grace periods, and not perfection. When you make your health goals, keep this in mind: it is going to take time, you won’t be perfect, and this is a life goal–not a one-year resolution.
4. Don’t be afraid to dream big
This is a whole new year, and a new decade, so why not aim high? I know I said don’t aim too high, but you will know in your mind what is attainable for you and what is not. Furthermore, you should dream big, make your resolution to learn a new skill so you can better yourself in your business, or learn a new language, or even write a novel. Dreaming big is not a bad thing and I highly encourage it. The way to stick to a big goal is to help yourself in advance by writing out the steps to reach it. If your goal is to write a novel, vow to yourself to write 2500 words a day or every couple of days. The trick to sticking to your goal is to make it as easy on yourself as possible. If you pick a goal and leave yourself with no plan, you could become easily overwhelmed.
5. Write them down
I’m sure we already do this whether it’s a sticky note we put on our computer or a napkin from the party on New Year’s Eve. However, I’m going to take it back to grade school a little bit. I can probably bet that at least one of your teachers asked you to write yourself a letter the very first day back from winter break. This is similar to that exercise, just amped up a bit. Write a letter to yourself, tell yourself the encouraging words you need to hear and where you are right now. Then write down the goals you have for the coming year and write down how you are going to accomplish these goals with steps and all. Also, write down why they are important to you. If you know why they’re important then you can continually remind yourself of why you started in the first place. After all, we need a “why” to motivate us to do most everything in life.
6. Don’t make too many
Another issue we run into is making one too many New Year’s resolutions. I understand the feeling: New year, new you. However, if you begin to overwhelm yourself with more goals than you can keep track of then some of them are going to get thrown aside. If you need to, make a list of your goals, your top ten. Then pick the three that are the most important to you to accomplish in the next year. You might find that some goals are intertwined with others, so if you accomplish those, you will be on your way to starting the rest.