The first of January means a “New Year and a new you” to so many people. Each year we make promises to ourselves that we will commit to some sort of self-improvement. A resolution to eat healthier, exercise, lose weight, manage a tighter budget, take up a new hobby….the list goes on. We keep our promises to better ourselves in the beginning, but by the time February or March rolls around, we have forgotten our goals and succumb to our old habits and old ways. This year, is a time to change that. This year, we can all do better. We can all make promises to ourselves, however big or small, and keep them. This year is the time for you to make a New Year’s resolution and become the new you you’ve been wanting to become.
- Talk about it. Tell your family, friends, co-workers, etc. about your goals for the new year. Discussing your goals for the New Year with others will encourage them to support you as you take steps to achieve your goals. Announcing your goals and making them public knowledge will force you to hold yourself accountable.
- Be realistic. Take steps towards achieving your goals in realistic steps. For instance, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds, plan on exercising two to three times the first week. Continue to build toward your goal slowly and steadily to make sure that you don’t overwhelm yourself. You cannot change all bad habits or behaviors overnight. Be gentle on yourself and realistic about the time and energy that it will take to stick to your New Year’s resolution.
- Don’t get discouraged. If you want to stick to your goals, you can’t beat yourself up for straying a bit from your plan. An occasional cookie will not throw your entire diet off. Allow yourself a break every once in a while and understand that no one is perfect. Try your best to stay focused on your goals and get back on track as soon as possible.
- Find a support system. If you can find a family member or friend with similar goals or interests to help you work toward your goal, you might find it’s easier to stick to your plan. Whether you find a friend to listen to you when you get stressed, to join you at the gym or to simply hold you accountable for achieving your goals, having a support system is an important step to sticking to your New Year’s resolution.
- Reward yourself. Small rewards encourage continued good behavior. When you achieve a certain milestone in your plan, reward yourself with a night off, a small purchase, a piece of cake, etc. If you allow yourself to indulge a little every now and then, you are more likely to stick to your plan.