Sticking with the Resolution – 5 easy tips

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sticking with the resolutionEvery year when January arrives, many feel resolved to make some changes to themselves. Hence, many are jumping on board and joining the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon. But by February these resolutions will be long-gone. Sometimes these aspirations will be revisited the following new year – only to be forgotten again soon afterwards. Why is it so difficult sticking with the resolution? There are a couple common reasons why most resolutions eventually fall by the wayside. While most are able to quickly think up a goal or two, most don’t take the time to really develop them. Or, once a resolution is broken it is quickly abandoned and written as a lost cause.

 

 

Sticking With The Resolution

 

 

You may have even heard the joke about the failure of Resolutions. It goes like this: a new place opened up locally called “Resolutions.” In January it’s a gym for working out, and then it turns into a bar for the other twelve months once everyone has given up. Rather than making a New Year’s Resolution that’s not going to stay around, read the five tips below to find out how to make a New Year’s Resolution and how to actually accomplish it.

 

Pick one goal

sticking with the resolution pick one goal

Yes it would be nice to lose weight, be more organized in life, save more money, volunteer more, and save the whales. But trying to accomplish all of these things at the same time is a tough order to fill. Taking on too usually results in nothing being accomplished at all. Rather than trying to completely change every single aspect in your life focus on just one goal. Change is hard enough. Being able to concentrate on that single goal will be much easier to manage than trying to juggle several.

Often times too, making a positive change in with one aspect of life helps other areas as well. For example, by making a goal and designing a plan for weight loss, this automatically is going to help someone become better at organizing their commitments in life. One positive change often defaults to other positive areas of change without the individual even realizing it!

 

Write it down

sticking with the resolution write it down

It’s easy enough to think up a goal in one’s head; it’s another matter to write it down. By keeping it stored only in your head it makes the resolution much easier to dismiss. And while writing it down on a piece of paper isn’t exactly a binding contract, it does make the goal more resolute.

To make your goal even more official it is helpful to write it down a few times and display it in a variety of places. Seeing your goal in writing over and over makes it more a part of your life. A written resolution prevents you from being able to easily dismiss your goal.

Having multiple copies will help serve as constant reminders throughout the day. This will allow you to stay on track better. Some good locations to display your resolution are as follows: on the fridge, on your desk at work, on your nightstand, bathroom mirror, and the dashboard of your car. By constantly having your goal stare at you throughout the day you will have higher chances of sticking with the resolution. It’s also beneficial to tell those close to you of the resolution so they can support you with your goal as well.

 

Develop a Specific Plan of Action

sticking with the resolution making a game plan

Setting a goal is usually relatively easy. But getting there is the hard part. Strategizing a plan of action makes reaching a goal much more attainable. It is especially beneficial to make that plan as specific as possible.

Let’s take the resolution of losing ten pounds as an example. Setting a goal of ten pounds seems feasible, but how are these pounds going to vanish? Since it won’t happen by magic it’s beneficial to spell out how this is going to be achieved. Is this going to involve exercise? If so, how often? Is eating right going to be part of the plan? And what exactly does “eating right” entail? The more details you lay out the better for sticking with the resolution.

It is worth taking the time to think through the specific steps required to achieve a goal. By establishing specific steps it definitely makes the ladder much more feasible to climb. In addition, by thinking through the process you will hopefully get to envision yourself doing those items of action. Usually by making it a mental process first, it is much easier to turn that plan into a reality for yourself.

 

Accept the ups and downs

sticking with the resolution accepting ups and downs

One of the problems many have with sticking with the resolution is they don’t allow themselves any forgiveness. They expect continued perfection of themselves. If they slip up, they write the goal off as a complete failure and cast it aside. Rather than give up on the resolution it’s helpful to keep in mind to expect good days and bad ones. When things get tough it’s tempting to abandon the New Year’s Resolution ship; but stay the course and ride out the waves.

Certain days are going to be tougher than others. If you’re trying to lose weight understand that events like Super Bowl parties are going to make it difficult to stay the course. But you’re not powerless, there are measures you can take. For example, bring a veggie tray or mixed nuts. That way there are options that you can partake it.

If you do reach for the nacho cheese dip one too many times then it’s okay to chalk the day as a bad one. But DON’T chuck the resolution away. Tomorrow is a whole new day; give yourself permission to make adjustments to get back on track.

If you find that you are constantly involved with situations that are a threat to your goal, it may be wise to strategize and establish a mental game plan in advanced. For example, if you’re trying to give up caffeine it can be hard to do this if coffees, teas, or sodas are a common staple at your workplace. To combat the temptation, you may have to enter the office battlefield with your own caffeine-free beverages. Even though the caffeinated drinks are going to be preferable at first, having your own resolution-abiding drink in hand may prevent you from grasping a cup of a caffeinated beverage – mentally and physically.

 

Celebrate Successes in a smart way

sticking with the resolution celebrate responsibly

You don’t necessarily have to wait until you’ve successfully achieved your goal to see successes. Making a personal change is especially difficult at the start. Even if you’ve managed to go an entire a week resolutely sticking with your resolution, it is worth celebrating. So pat yourself on the back and celebrate. But celebrate appropriately. In other words, don’t celebrate in a way that could jeopardize your goal.

If you’re trying to give up alcohol, don’t celebrate soberness with a night of drinking. Don’t smoke a cigarette if you are trying to quit. Choose rewards that don’t have the power to set you back. Rather, celebrate with an ice cream sundae, reward weight loss with a new outfit instead. This will make sticking with the resolution much more efficient.

But even if the amount is small, or the period brief, don’t short-change your successes. Recognizing minor achievements will give you more motivation to sticking with the resolution. A reward system can be especially helpful on those days that the climb is harder and it seems like it’s taking forever to get to the top. Everyone takes different strides and accomplishes at a different rate and it’s important to recognize your own journey.

Regardless of what your goal is, you’ll be less successful if you make it on a whim. Put some thought into it; and then put yourself into it. And if the entire month of January has passed you by and you haven’t given New Year’s resolutions any attention at all, there is no time like the present. There is no law that states resolutions and goals are only to be drafted in the month of January. Regardless of the time of year take some time for self- reflection. Then put your goal into a plan of action!

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