The start of a new year is the perfect time to turn over a new leaf, which is probably why that's when people set their goals. There's no better time to change bad habits and establish new routines that will help you grow psychologically, emotionally, socially, physically, or intellectually. Of course, resolutions are much easier to make than to keep, and by the end of March, many of us have abandoned our resolve and settled back into our old patterns. Part of the problem may be that we do not know how to keep New Year's resolutions, despite our good intentions.
1. Keep Your Goals Specific
Every year, millions of adults resolve to "lose weight," "be more productive," or "get in shape" during the next year. Instead of selecting such an ambiguous goal, make it more specific so you can realistically set your sights on it - for example, instead of "lose weight", try "get to x kilograms by the end of the year". In other words, choose a goal that you can concretely work towards.
2. Limit Your Resolutions
Taking on too much all at once can be daunting. It can be particularly difficult because establishing new behavioral patterns takes time and sustained effort. Focusing on one specific goal makes keeping a resolution much more achievable.
You can start by writing down your goal, making a list of things you might do to achieve that goal, and noting any obstacles that might stand in your way. By knowing exactly what you want to accomplish and the difficulties you might face, you'll be better prepared to stick to your resolution and overcome anything that might sidetrack you.
4. Avoid Repeating Past Failures
If you do choose to reach for the same goals you've tried for in the past, spend some time evaluating your previous results. Another strategy for keeping your New Year's resolution is to not make the exact same resolution year after year. Consider altering your resolution slightly to make it more feasible. By changing your approach, you will be more likely to see real results this year.
"If people think they can do it, they probably can, but if they've already tried and failed, their self-belief will be low," -Wisemen
5. Remember That Change Is a Process
It may take longer than you would like to achieve your goals, but remember that this is not a race to the finish. Once you have made the commitment to changing a behavior, it may be something that you continue to work on for the rest of your life.
6. Get Support
You've probably heard this advice a million times, but that is because the buddy system actually works. Having a solid support system can help you stay motivated and accountable. Camaraderie makes sticking to your resolution more fun, too. So, ideally, find a like-minded pal or loved one to join you in your goal.
7. Renew Your Motivation
During the first days of a New Year's resolution, you will probably feel confident and highly motivated to reach your goal. Because you haven't really faced any discomfort or temptation associated with changing your behavior, making this change might seem all too easy. When you face such moments, remind yourself exactly why you are doing this. Think about (or write a list to keep handy) what you have to gain by achieving your goal. Finding sources of inspiration can keep you going when times get tough.
8. Keep Working on Your Goals
By sticking with it and working on your goal all year long, you can be one of the few able to say that you really did keep your New Year's resolution—and if you're writing down your progress and strategies, you'll have ready proof of your efforts if you're ever feeling like giving up.
9. Learn and Adapt
If you are keeping a resolution journal, write down important information about when the relapse occurred, what might have triggered it, and what you might do differently next time. By understanding the challenges you face, you will be better prepared to deal with them in the future.
BEST OF LUCK FOR 2023!
The yearly ritual of resolution setting doesn't have to be an annual disappointment. Sometimes, the difference between success and failure is simply choosing the right goal and the process you use to go about achieving it. Most importantly, remember to be kind and flexible with yourself and to celebrate any and all progress along the way. It's not just the end goal that matters—it's the journey along the way.