The New Year approaches, and with it comes the tinkling of champagne glasses, the raining of confetti, and the setting of resolutions. Resolutions can be tricky; many of us go into the New Year with vows of lifestyle changes, and often end the year with none of them met. What can we do to increase our chances of following through and meeting our personal goals? How can we better resolve to complete our resolutions? Read on as we explore the delicate art of setting and completing a New Year’s resolution.
Year In Review
Before setting your resolutions it helps to look back at this year and give it an honest assessment. If you made resolutions for this year, how did they turn out? What did you achieve? Where did you fall short? If you failed to meet certain resolutions, analyze the reason. Was the goal too ambitious? Was it something you didn’t care enough about? Taking stock of your year will help you form resolutions. What is it about your life now that you would like to change? What would be fun to learn? What would feel good to do? What areas of your life could you challenge yourself on and develop rewarding new behaviors?
One advantage of having resolutions for the new year is that they can often bring us closer to the people we care about. Even something like working to improve your own health can positively impact your relationships with friends and family — after all, the healthier you are the longer you’ll be in their lives. Sticking to your resolutions and rising to the challenges you’ve set for yourself can be inspiring to the people around you. Engaging in new activities (be they health-related, professionally oriented, or picking up new skills or hobbies) can make it easier for you to meet new people and expand your social circle.
Another reason to consider those around you: Research shows that people with supportive communities are more likely to complete their resolutions. One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to achieve New Year’s goals is trying to go it alone; involving others to encourage you and keep you accountable is crucial to staying on task. If your goals revolve around being more physically active, having workout/hiking buddies is a great way to spend time with friends and work on your goals.
Set Reasonable Goals
Another big mistake people make when setting resolutions is trying to do too much too soon. You have to set reasonable, achievable goals. If you set too ambitious a goal you’ll feel demoralized and unmotivated when you’re not “on target” to complete it. If you want to lose weight, for example, it’s better to set a lower amount to lose than a number too high to realistically achieve. A lower goal is better because you can “overshoot” it; once you hit that goal, everything else you do is a bonus. You’re more likely to do more because you experience that high of meeting your goal in the first place.
Track Your Progress
An easy way to lose sight of your progress is to not track of it. Tracking your progress and measuring your success is a great way to both motivate yourself to keep going and to keep yourself honest. Get a day planner, journal, or app where you can keep a daily log of your resolutions. If you go several days or a week where you fall off your goal, you’ll see it clearly in your logs.
Find ways to keep yourself accountable. Set milestones to hit as you work on your resolution and reward yourself when you hit them. Ask people close to you to keep you honest about your goals so they can check in and help keep you accountable. Take a personal inventory and find out what aspects of your personality and day-to-day life would keep you FROM completing your resolution and develop workarounds to stay on task. Let’s say you work at a computer all day and live a pretty sedentary lifestyle, which can be a significant roadblock for someone trying to get healthy. Part of being accountable is acknowledging that and then making efforts to squeeze in moments of physical activity and movement. You know yourself better than anyone, which means you need to make sure you’re not your own worst enemy when it comes to achieving your resolutions.
Article by Austin Brietta