Every 1st of January, millions of people sit down on their desks with a notebook and pen. Most even just use their smartphones. They come forth with a list titled, “New Year Resolutions”. We come up with a list that usually includes: Lose weight. Exercise regularly. Stay away from sugar and junk food. But we all know that most of the people will let go of their resolutions within two weeks, some may even leave it in a day. Only a few people actually reach their goal, their desired weight in this case. And even fewer will actually keep it off. The cycle continues, with each passing new year’s day, we write our resolutions and leave them unaccomplished and feel guilty at the end of the year. So, today, we are here to give you practical tips on how to make new year resolutions stick for good.
Try Things Differently
How many years has it been that you’ve written the same resolution over and over again? However, you’ve never actually completed it. So why go with the same thing all over again? You know it doesn’t work and you’ll end up even more frustrated than you are now. So, how about changing the pattern? Why not give up the plan-fail-get sad cycle and come up with a smarter way to actually complete your resolutions? Read on to know how to do it.
Don’t Try to Change 100 Things
When you make resolutions, you want to stick to them for the long term. But if you have too much on your plate, you’ll never get to completing anything. The more things you try to change in a short time frame, the less likely you are to change anything over the long term. Resolutions you write are life changing. So, you need to pace yourself. You just simply cannot give up on your old habits, no matter how bad, by the next week. Give it some time.
Don’t Make Stupid Resolutions
We, as humans, have a high esteem of ourselves. We tend to think we can achieve great results in a matter of days. That leads us to make impractical resolutions. But you have to let go of that big fat ego if you really want to get things done. Set goals that are practical, manageable and logical. The most important thing to make new year resolutions stick is knowing that you’re not competing with anyone. Maybe things don’t need to be so hard-core to be effective. Sometimes, what you need to do to make new year resolutions stick will not be things that are insanely difficult.
Create a System of Accountability
The excitement, the motivation and the momentum will surely wean off. And when it does, you need things that keep you going forward. Find out the one thing, or many, that will keep you going towards your goal when most others are leaving their resolutions. You need to know what gets you going. You could talk to a friend to help you stay motivated. Find out that thing or person that is sure to keep your game strong.
Take Things One at a Time
Completing everything simultaneously is just plain impossible. And here, it doesn’t say I-M-Possible. You know you have a limited amount of willpower. If you use it all at once, you risk putting all of your plans to the path of failure. Instead, try doing one thing at a time. Making small behavioral changes can help. It may sound specific if your resolution is to “Lose 5 kgs”, but what’s more likely to work is making behavioral changes. You could instead resolve to “exercise at least three days this week”. That way your mind focuses on the 3 workouts that week, not the 5 kgs you need to lose.
Work in 4 Week Intervals
When you look at it, telling yourself to exercise or write a diary for the whole year is just too much. The mere thought of it makes you tired. So break it into smaller, bite-sized chunks. They’re easier to measure and make new year resolutions stick. The 4 week intervals are long enough to produce significant practical change but also short enough for us to stay focused, motivated and in the game emotionally. Of course, we’re all about creating big picture results and long-term change. But breaking the big process down into a series of a twenty-eight-day game plan seems to work better for most people.
Now go on and get busy. Shake that weight off, save money for that vacation and write that novel. Make sure you keep your spirits high. You can make new year resolutions stick for good this time.
Happy New Year, folks!