At the end of the year, I often hear people say, “I’ll make that my resolution for next year” or “I’ll start in January.” It is estimated that about 45% of Americans set New Year’s resolutions, although about 24% of them end up failing for some reason or another. However, the start of a new year is actually a great time to make significant changes that can last for years to come.
Set short-term goals. If all you have is a long-term goal you want to achieve during 2016, how will that help in the short-term? You can create a monthly resolution you’d like to meet and make sure you stick to it. This also helps because your long-term goal will seem much less intimidating if you’re looking at them in the short-term.
Keep a log of your goals and share them with loved ones. If you’ve discussed your goals with friends or family they’ll be aware of what you are trying to reach and are more likely to push you if they know your specific goals. Another good idea is to send a weekly update to them so they stay on board with your progress.
Make sure your goals are realistic. Choose a reasonable goal that will be attainable and not make you feel stressed or rushed. For example, if your resolution is to lose weight, make a goal of 5 or 10 pounds than re-asses after that goal is met. Or, if you are trying to stop smoking cigarettes, try cutting down to 5 cigarettes a day rather than a whole pack. Then, gradually decrease the amount per week.
Be aware of possible setbacks. Of course as humans, many people backslide occasionally on their resolutions and goals. However, it is important if you want to achieve your goals, you need to respond in a positive way to your setbacks. If you make a mistake, view it as temporary and understand you are not failing just because of that.
Don’t give up. Making changes can be difficult, and it will definitely take a lot of will power and determination. If you really put your mind to something and are persistent, you will see changes.
When it comes down to New Year’s resolutions, it is important to simply drop a bad habit. Try something new. If you’re trying to lose weight, eat more vegetables and cut out any processed food. It may take time, but it will be worth it.