How are your New Year’s Resolutions coming along? If it hasn’t panned out how your wanted it to, don’t give up just yet. Let's discuss how to attain and maintain those resolutions and goals. I've done some research and compiled the most effective ways to keep your New Year's Resolutions:
1. Make a Plan - Many times people have this spectacular idea in their head. But when they put it out there, it falls flat. Why is that? It's because they have made no real plan.Sit down with a piece of pen and paper and brainstorm. Take it back to elementary school...Start with Who, What, When, Where, Why and How? And don't forget that most plans need revamping. So, update your plan when you get new ideas.
2. Make it a Habit - A habit forms after 14 days of consistency. Make sure whatever your resolution is, you follow through for more than two weeks. It makes it easier to accomplish after that. But don't slack off on day 15.
3. Set Small Goals throughout the Year- There's nothing in the rule book that says your resolutions have to be for the whole year. It's actually more effective if you set small goals, reach those and then set some more. For example: I will lose 5 pounds by March.Then set a goal of another 5 pounds once March 1st arrives. These monthly goals can help you stay on track with your yearly resolution.
4. Be Specific - This year, I will exercise more!!! Uh...NO! Let's try this instead: I will go to the gym at least four times per week. Two days for cardio and two days for resistance training. Being vague gives you loopholes, and those can deter you from reaching your goal.
5. Allow for Mistakes - There may be those couple of days where you over eat or miss the gym. It's OK. Just make sure you don't allow it to take over and impair you from reaching your goal.
6. Limit your Number -Research has shown that those who set two or three goals per year achieve them at a higher rate than those who set more than that. Try this: Make a list, prioritize them, and then ditch the ones you can do without. Pick those top three that you feel most passionate about and have the most motivation todo.
7. Avoid Past Failures -Emotional ties from things in our past can affect our future. So, try and start fresh this year. If you weren't able to keep your resolution last year, try something different. Try a different approach. A new year, a new goal, a new you!
8. Make it Something You Really Want- If your resolution is to study and pass the GRE, but then don't want to go back to school, why include that? Keeping resolutions are already hard enough.Don't stress yourself out even more by adding things you don't truly care about.
9. Support, Support, Support- There's a higher chance of you maintaining those resolutions if you have a support system behind you. Sometimes we need a little nudge or a little extra motivation, and that's perfectly fine. But beware of those who take that nudge and turn it into a full-on punch. You want someone that will help propel you, not pull you down.
10. Visualize it Regularly - I know you've heard that saying, "Out of sight, out of mind." The same thing may happen with your resolution if you're not careful. Here are a few ideas: Write your goals on your calendar. Place sticky notes on your mirror, refrigerator and even your car visor. Try making a vision board. I have a vision board! It's placed where I can see it every day. It helps me focus my attention to my goals at hand. You may even want to try having a virtual vision board party with a few of your friends to make it more fun.
11. Reward Yourself - I don't mean downing a whole cheesecake once you've gone to the gym for a month straight. How about a spa day? Or buying those shoes you've been eyeing for the past couple of weeks. But be careful with rewarding yourself! Remember to live within your means and not to let it throw you off track.
12. Don't Give Up - There maybe those days where you want to throw in the towel. Yes, it may get tough, but think of what is to come...A more confident person! Make sure you take sight and hold on to that. Whatever burden it may be now, just know it's worth it in the end.