You rang in the New Year with a couple of toasts, a fantastic feast, and maybe a few more toasts. January 1st came and went with a slight headache and now you are ready to dive into those resolutions you made while pouring champagne. Suddenly, you realize that every year your goals are similar because for some reason your enthusiasm always drops off. You can make this year different, and we have the best tips lined up to give you the lowdown on how.
The Power of the Pen
Making a mental note isn’t going to get you to your goal. Grab a pen and journal, because you’re going to need to write about your resolution every day. It’s not enough to say you want to change. You need to make the commitment in a more permanent way and then recommit every single day. Each day take five minutes to revisit your resolution. Write it in your journal and then reflect. Jot down a couple of sentences about what you think you can do to meet your goal, how your efforts are progressing, or how you feel about your resolution. This exercise not only keeps your goal top-of-mind each day, it helps you come up with tangible ways to find success.
One is a Lonely Number
You’ve heard it before, “two is better than one.” This is certainly true when it comes to facing a challenge. Ask your spouse, sibling, or best friend to be your support system as you face down 365 days of follow through, and offer to return the favor. Set up an accountability system that holds you to checking in with each other daily or weekly. The stakes are higher when someone you care about is counting on you to show up for them and support them. It’s also helpful to have someone ready to help you get back on track if you slip up.
Dream Big But Keep it Real
It’s ok to strive for great things, but breaking big goals down into small achievable steps is important. Resolutions are quick to fall by the wayside if they are overwhelming. You’re more likely to find success if the end game is in your sights. Take time to do some research. Find answers to important questions like: is my goal realistic? How long does this endeavor typically take? If the answers you dig up don’t match with your ambitions, try to break your final goal down into a series of smaller goals or steps that will get you where you want to go.
Don’t Be Hard on Yourself
Part of the draw of New Year’s resolutions is the challenge of achievement. Sticking to something you find difficult for a full 365 days is hard and chances are you will have moments that make you feel like you’re failing. If you are trying to lose weight and catch yourself indulging in a box of donuts, don’t beat yourself up. We treat ourselves to some Blue Star and Voodoo donuts too! Finish your last bite and then go for a long hike and reflect on what drove you to eat so you can change what and how you do things in the future.
Trying to find success in your New Year’s resolutions is no small undertaking. There are sure to be challenges along the way. Set yourself up to accomplish your goal by keeping it real, writing it down, finding a friend, and taking it easy on yourself. If, by the end of the year, you haven’t achieved what you set out to do don’t get down. Chances are you’ve learned a lot along the way and the progress you have made will serve you well in whatever you strive for next year.