Improving Follow-Through on Your New Year’s Resolution
Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?
As a teenager, I made long lists of new year’s resolutions, but as an adult, I realize these are not a wishlist of things to happen.
By the time we reach a certain age, we understand the real purpose behind our New Year’s resolutions. We want to make real efforts to improve ourselves and our lives. Yet, for many, making it past February 1st with your resolution intact is rare.
What can you do to ensure you follow through with your New Year’s resolution and ultimately achieve the results you seek?
Make your New Year’s Resolution follow the SMART goals system
Is your resolution realistic, specific, achievable? If your goals do not follow the SMART goals format, try using this goal setting worksheet. What about your strategy for achieving the resolution or goal?
For example, if losing a certain amount of weight is your goal for the year, it may not be realistic for you to plan on doing it by eating only 1,200 calories per day.
However, what if your resolution was something like, “Decrease my calorie intake by 10% each week?” Or “Eat 3 fruits daily, one with each meal.”
These goals, as you can see, are more realistic, very specific in their plan and frankly, more do-able than simply saying, “Lose 50 pounds” or “Eat 1,200 calories a day.”
If your resolution or method of achieving it isn’t realistic, change it today for better success.
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Have an Accountability Buddy for your New Year’s Resolution
Ask your spouse or friends to help you be accountable for your goal. After all, people close to you want you to be successful in your goals. It can be as non-threatening as, “So, how are you doing on working toward your New Year’s resolution today?” Or “How can I help you meet your daily goal?”
Discuss your struggles, plans and daily successes with people who love you. This will keep you from forgetting all about your New Year’s resolution, whether on purpose or by accident.
Work on your New Year’s Resolution Daily
Start early each day if you’re a morning person. You can set up your strategy for your resolution so you can do something related to the goal first thing in the morning. Since most people are at their freshest and most energetic in the morning, it’s good to be able to achieve something related to your resolution right after you get out of bed. This achievement gives you a huge boost and helps you continue to be productive all day.
If your resolution has something to do with your nutritional intake, eating a balanced breakfast will get your day off to a great start.
If you have resolved to get more exercise, getting in 20 or 30 minutes of exercise would be a great start to your day.
Plan to take a step toward your resolution in the mornings. This way, you’ll start the day off with your resolution in mind and feel positive and successful all day.
Keep your New Year’s Resolution in Mind
Think about ways to keep your resolution in mind. Write down your resolution in your journal. Jot it on a note, and place it on your refrigerator or mirror. Record it in your calendar. Use a habit tracker.
When your resolution is in your thoughts every day, you’re more likely to follow through with it.
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Achieve Your New Year’s Resolution with Flexibility
Be flexible about your New Year’s resolution. Give yourself permission to tweak your resolution and plan for achieving the goal as time goes by.
Maybe you’re unable to drop calorie intake from 2,500 calories in a day down to 1,500. So, don’t beat yourself up if you consume 2,200 calories a day. In a few weeks, you can cut another 100 calories.
Allow yourself to make desired changes related to your resolution gradually. The more flexible you are, the more likely you’ll achieve your resolution during the year. On the flip side, many people simply give up if they can’t keep up with their initial strict goals.
Staying with your New Year’s resolution as long as it takes to be successful is possible. Just apply the above strategies: make it realistic and specific, keep your resolution in mind, ask friends and family to talk to you about your goal, start first thing in the morning, and be flexible about your resolution to achieve your goal.
Stick to your New Year’s resolution to experience one of your most inspiring years ever!