As we enter into a new year, the idea of making some New Year’s resolutions has probably entered your thoughts at least once. But, even with the best of intentions, we often do not stick to the goals and promises that we made to ourselves at the beginning of the year.
Common statistics show that only 8% of people who make a New Year’s resolution actually keep it. Whether it is to lose some weight, quit smoking, or be more productive, it is not always easy to keep the lofty goals we set for ourselves. We might be able to do it for a few weeks, but after that, many of our resolutions start to fade away for another year.
So, is it possible to make a resolution and actually keep it throughout the year? Absolutely! It doesn’t matter what you want to do or what your goals are – the process for keeping them is relatively the same. Use the tips listed below to keep whatever resolution you make for yourself this year. By this time next year rolls around, you will feel more confident and accomplished than ever before.
Don’t Overdo It
One of the biggest mistakes people make in starting a resolution is that they reach for something really big right away. Starting small will feel less overwhelming, and you will be more likely to stick to it. If you have multiple goals, this is completely fine. Just make sure you focus on one at a time, instead of trying to stack everything into one major task that you have to complete.
The goal is to make realistic resolutions: Things you know that you will be able to do and keep with a little bit of effort. It is not a bad thing to have bigger dreams and ambitions, but by starting small, you won’t burn out right away and you’ll be able to keep working toward those larger exciting goals over time.
Don’t Keep It to Yourself
You might think your resolution has to be completely private and personal, but that’s not true! If you have had trouble keeping your goals in the past, then why not talk to someone about it? The more people that you talk about your resolution, the more likely it is that you’ll keep it up. People will ask you about it as a topic of conversation, so you’ll want to have something to tell them! Consider it a bit of subtle motivation.
You can also ask others to hold you accountable when it comes to your resolutions. Find someone to support you in your goals. This could be a family member, friend, or even a specific support group of people who want to achieve something similar to you. By keeping a resolution to yourself, it’s far too easy to ignore it. When others know about it, you will feel more motivated to get it done.
Expect and Embrace Setbacks
One big reason people don’t always stick to their resolutions is because if they have one minor setback, and they give up completely. Hiccups will happen. You will make mistakes throughout the year, and you won’t always stay on track with your goals the way you thought that you might. The important thing is not to let these small setbacks stop you from staying on the larger course.
Embrace setbacks when they happen, and use them as learning tools to move forward with your resolutions. Recovering from your mistakes will be half the battle, as once you have learned how to do that, staying on track to meet your big goals will be so much easier.
Give Yourself a Time-Frame
It’s easy to say something like, “I want to do this by the end of the year.” Unfortunately, it is also easy to ignore that goal for the entire year and realize at the end of it that you haven’t accomplished what you set out to do.
Giving yourself an entire year to actually work on a resolution can easily lead to procrastination. Instead, give yourself a time-frame, or several of them. Set goals based on time periods. This can be incredibly motivating, since you will want to be able to achieve certain milestones by a certain point in time. It gives you several ‘mini goals’ to look forward to, and lets you know officially when you need to have everything done. A time-frame might seem like added pressure, but it can actually work wonders in helping you to stick to your resolutions.
Use a Journal
Get into the wonderful habit of using a journal everyday. I found that once I started to use a journal I started to achieve more of my goals. Using a journal for just a few minutes every morning, is a great way to keep you on track with your exciting goals that you have set for yourself. I use my journal as a reminder to keep my goals fresh in my mind. I also use my journal to map out tasks that I must do each day to stay on course to achieve my goals. A journal is also a great way to think on paper. Record your thoughts, ideas, goals and inspiring quotes. A journal is also a great motivational tool to see just how much you have achieved over a period of time. Keeping a record of your progress will also motivate you to strive on to achieve even more.
Never Give Up
Not giving up goes along with embracing your setbacks. But, it also means you get to celebrate your victories and keep moving forward. It’s okay to recognize your accomplishments throughout the year and feel good about them. Each one is a step closer to your ultimate goal. But, don’t get complacent with these small victories. Instead, recognize them for what they are and continue down the right path.
The bottom line? You can’t get too hung up on any setbacks or lapse. The most important thing you can do when sticking to a resolution is to keep moving forward. Dust yourself off and start again immediately if you do slip up, and use any small successes as motivation to keep you moving towards your bigger goals.
A New Year’s resolution isn’t as overwhelming as we can often make it out to be. Let this year finally be the one that whatever resolution you make, becomes a lifelong habit, or a goal that you will absolutely stick to and achieve.