It’s easy to make New Year’s resolutions. All of our goals seem attainable when they’re freshly made in early January. However, by the time February or March rolls around, those aspirations can be long gone if you’re not careful. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to remain on track with your resolutions so you can actually achieve what you set out to accomplish this year. Here are some simple tips for sticking to your New Year’s resolutions:
- Be realistic.
When coming up with your resolutions, it’s important to be reasonable about what you’d like to achieve. You’re not going to lose 100 pounds within the first month of starting a new diet and you’re not going to build up your savings account overnight. Setting goals that are too lofty can discourage you and cause you to revert to your old ways. Remember that slow and steady always wins the race.
- Be specific.
Once you’ve decided on something you’d like to change about yourself or your life, it’s also a good idea to avoid vague wording when forming your goals. For example, stay away from the generic “lose weight” and “save money.” Those objectives will make it too easy for you to procrastinate or fall behind. ?Instead, set objectives like losing one pound a week or saving an extra $500 per month. The more specific your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them.
- Don’t change too quickly or quit cold turkey.
We’re all creatures of habit and those habits can die hard. If you’ve smoked a pack a day for 20 years, your desire to light up isn’t suddenly going to subside on the second of January. Likewise, if you’re a fast-food junkie, you’ll likely still find yourself craving your usual hamburgers and fries in the days after the ball drops. When you try to change too quickly or quit something cold turkey, you aren’t giving yourself the best odds for success. Give yourself a fighting chance by easing into your New Year’s resolutions. For example, you could limit yourself to a couple of cigarettes a week at first as you wean yourself off your nicotine addiction. A weekly “cheat meal” may also keep your diet from going out the proverbial drive-thru window. If you try to completely change your lifestyle right away, your goals probably aren’t going to stick. On the other hand, incorporating those changes gradually can help pave the way for a healthier and happier you.
- Don’t give up.
As we’ve already covered, you probably aren’t going to have immediate results when it comes to the changes you’re implementing. You’re also likely to return to your old way of life from time to time. Whether it’s a greasy box of doughnuts in the office break room or the latest budget-busting gizmo, temptation seems to lurk around every corner. Don’t let any momentary slip-ups derail your plans for a new you. If you fall off the wagon, get right back on. Balance out the high calories of that sinful treat by eating a light salad at lunch. Forgo your expensive morning lattes and movie theater nights until you’ve paid for that pricey new gadget. Whatever you do, don’t give up on your desires and good intentions. You’ve got to stay the course if you really want to make your dreams a reality.
Every year millions of people make resolutions that they may or may not keep. However, the difference between succeeding and failing often lies in your mindset and approach. By staying positive and developing the proper strategy, you can set meaningful goals that can easily be accomplished with a little willpower and hard work. With these simple tips, you’ll soon be on your way to turning your resolutions into checkmarks on your to-do list!