It’s that time of the year when at least 40% of us in the U.S. are vowing to change something about our lifestyle. The problem is that we run into all kinds of roadblocks and lose our way. With that in mind, here are some resolution solutions for the new year to get you started and help you stick with your plan.
New Year’s resolutions usually fall under the following categories:
- Weight loss
- Personal development
- Health and diet
- Stress management
- Personal relationships
Fast forward 6 months from now and 60% will have completely forgotten about their resolutions. But you can do it. If you’re serious about making changes start here:
1. Define your Motivation
There are 2 types of motivation:
- Intrinsic – This is the kind of motivation that comes from inside. For example, you may prefer jogging, going to the gym, or shopping by yourself because you like how you feel afterward. You make choices based on what feels the best for you without outside motivation.
- Extrinsic – This type of motivation comes from outside of your personal scope. It may be that you prefer working out with your friends and that you work harder when there’s a reward system of some kind in place.
First, you need to figure out what motivates you, internal or external, then choose to put yourself in those situations that make you more excited to accomplish even more.
2. Actions motivate results
Then, each time you achieve one, reward yourself and feel proud of what you’ve accomplished.
➡ Positive reinforcement is crucial to help guide you as you push toward your goal and commit to your responsibilities.
One way to keep everything in check is to make sure your actions are
- Specific. Having a specific end result prevents you from making excuses.
- Measurable. Evaluating your progress will give your motivation a boost.
- Achievable. You can set daily goals as a building block to bigger goals.
- Relevant. If it’s not relevant, why bother?
- Time-bound. Goals need to have a defined end date.
3. Be honest with yourself
The more realistic your resolutions, the more likely you’ll see them through. If your goal for the New Year is to exercise more, then start small.
Instead of planning a 5-day workout week, go for 20 minutes a day then increase gradually.
This is the biggest obstacle I see year after year in working with my patients. They start too much, too fast, without measurable results…Then they burn out.
You’ll find that, as with all goals, as soon as you start seeing what you’ve accomplished, you’ll be pumped to do even more.
However, it’s crucial that you stay away from the “all-or-nothing” approach. Doing something, even if it’s a small piece of what you’d originally planned, is much better and more productive than doing nothing at all. Do one thing each day toward reaching your goal, even a small step is better than NO step.
it’s really important to not have too many resolutions up in the air at once.
➡ Make a list, prioritize them, and go from there.
Once you feel the first one’s in the bag, go for the second, and so on.
Focusing on one goal at a time will channel your energy and efforts there, helping you reach your target faster.
4. Think things through
Having a positive mindset is key when progressing towards your goals, but let’s be honest; every plan is bound for failure if you’re not careful. Be smart and anticipate these obstacles so that when they do appear, you’ll be prepared.
➡ For example, if you get bored when you exercise, choose upbeat workout music that’ll get you revved up.
➡ Or you can workout at home, as you catch up on your favorite TV shows.
➡ If your motivation method is extrinsic, go to the gym with a friend.
The idea is to nip the obstacles in the bud before it becomes stronger than your willpower so that you can surmount any obstacle that comes between you and your goal.
5. Be accountable for your actions
Accountability means you’re taking responsibility for the choices you’re making. This may seem easy to do at work when you have a deadline and a boss reinforcing it.
➡ It may not seem quite as easy when you’re home alone and skip out on cooking a healthy meal, and order take-out instead.
Do what will work to keep you, personally, on track. Whether it’s having a friend to call when you want to skip the whole thing, a support group, whatever works for you. Make sure you can SEE your progress by making notes on your calendar, etc. They’ll remind you of what you’re working towards and how far you’ve come on those difficult days.
Once you accomplish your first resolution, it will be much easier to tackle the next one. Don’t let resolutions become daunting. Use these 5 tried and true steps and GO FOR IT. Above all, remember this: