New Year’s resolutions are a great way to focus on things that are most important to you, whether it is improving your health or overcoming a bad habit. Once you have set the ball rolling by resolving to make positive changes in your life, how do you keep your motivation over the course of the year?
Here are some tips to keep those New Year resolutions going:
- Resolutions need to be simple & specific: You are more likely to succeed with simple and clear goals rather that vague ones; for instance, ‘I will walk for half an hour every day’ is more specific compared to ‘I will exercise more often.’
- Carefully choose your resolutions: A short list of well thought out resolutions have a better chance of success. Making multiple resolutions may cause you to lose focus. For example: Giving up smoking guarantees major health benefits and should definitely be on your list of resolutions.
- Keep your resolutions realistic: Your goals should be ambitious, but not unrealistic. For instance, if you have no experience with long-distance running, it is best to attempt a short-distance race before you participate in a marathon.
- Time-frame planning: A proper time-frame is a critical barometer for success. Resolutions linked to a deadline create a healthy sense of urgency that will propel you towards your long-term goal.
- Track your progress: Having set a goal to achieve, make notes in a diary detailing your progress at regular intervals. For a resolution to lose weight, you might want to measure your weight every week or two. As the popular saying goes “That which is measured, improves.”
- Support system: Surrounding yourself with people of like-minded interests can be a big advantage. They motivate you when you have fallen behind and help you get back on course to achieve your resolutions. And you can return the favor as well!
- Break goals into manageable portions: Perhaps the most essential part of success is breaking your long-term goals into more manageable short-term goals. For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds this year, you could concentrate on losing 5 pounds every month. This way even if there are a couple of setbacks, you should be able to reach your goal by the end of the year. The sense of achievement you feel every time you succeed in reaching a short-term goal will help keep your resolution strong until you achieve your long-term goal.