It’s that time of year again! The time to make promises to yourself with every intention of keeping them – only to find yourself wondering what happened when the time flies by and your resolution never quite catches up.
Whatever you want to do, there are a few steps you can take to make your resolution a reality. Make this your year to shine as an example of a resolution-gone-right!
- Create a Plan – Setting a goal without formulating a plan is just wishful thinking. Write down your goal on a piece of paper and brainstorm the steps you’ll need to take to get there.Achieving success with resolutions like weight loss or quitting smoking doesn’t happen without effort. If you’re going to try to lose weight, you’ll probably want to make changes in what you eat and drink and start an exercise routine.Drill down further. Are you going to give up soda? What can you eat at your favorite restaurant that would be a healthier choice?Where and when are you going to exercise? If you miss a planned session, what can you do to make it up? If you’d like to work out with a friend, who might be willing to join you?Again, write it all down (or post it right here in the comments section of the blog!). Trying to keep your plan in your head is the easiest way to lose track of your goals. Keep that piece of paper handy – maybe in a journal or on a calendar. Look at what you’ve written regularly to stay on track.
- Create Your Plan IMMEDIATELY – If you’re like most people, you’ll feel really motivated to make a change during the first few days of January, and then you’ll forget your resolution completely. Take advantage of that motivation and create your plan as soon as you set your goal.
- Reward Yourself – You’ve created small achievable goals and have written them down. Now make plans to reward yourself as you reach those goals! A new book, a relaxing bath, a massage, some new workout clothes or music, anything you find enjoyable. Celebrate your successes along the way and you’ll stay motivated!
- Think “Year Round,” Not Just New Year’s - Unfortunately, we have yet to discover the magic resolution wand with its amazing powers to make New Year’s Resolutions come true the moment you make them. It won’t happen in a day (or even a week or a month, probably). Setting the resolution is a great step in the right direction, but that’s just the beginning.When you’re developing your plan, look into the year ahead. In our weight loss example, will you need (or want) to adjust your exercise routine when the weather is warmer? Maybe fancy coffee drinks are your downfall during the winter, but what’s your calorie-laden beverage of choice in the warmer months? What will you drink instead?
- Remain Flexible – Expect that your plan can and will change. Life can throws unexpected things at us, and we have to adjust on the fly if there’s any hope of achieving even the simplest goal. Your goal itself might even change – accept it as it comes and be ready to course-correct. Don’t let the unexpected discourage you, either. Push through and you’ll feel even better looking back on your resolution-turned-accomplishment!