7 Steps to achieving your New Year’s resolution
Did you achieve your 2017 New Year’s resolution? Be honest. It’s okay if you didn’t because almost everyone else didn’t either. In fact, a whopping 92% of people failed at their New Year’s resolution. If you’re wondering how to join the elite 8%, look no further. Here are seven tips to make your New Year’s resolution stick.
1. Set a realistic goal
A common mistake is setting a goal that’s too big or too difficult to achieve. When January rolls around, people seem to think the magic of the new year will give the motivation they need to turn over a new leaf. However, starting 2018 by shooting for the stars or vowing to make massive changes are recipes for disappointment. For example, you’re bound to fail if you plan on going 100% vegetarian on January 1. Instead, try committing to meatless Mondays first. You’ll have a much higher success rate and can gradually enhance your vegetarian efforts as you go. Before you act on your resolution, make sure you genuinely believe it’s achievable first.
2. Make it specific and measurable
Let’s say you want to get in shape, but what does that actually mean? Do you want to lose 20 pounds? Do you want to complete a half marathon? Do you want to be able to do 50 push-ups without stopping? Having specific goals provide clear direction and make it easy to track progress throughout the year.
3. Write your resolution down and share it with others
Once you decide on a goal, write it down. Then post it in a highly visible location like on your fridge, desk, or nightstand. This will keep it on top of your mind. Next, tell your friends and family about it. It may be difficult to open up at first, especially if your resolution is personal, but sharing your goal will drastically boost your odds of success. Having loved ones in the know keeps you accountable. Breaking a promise to yourself is easy, but breaking one to your family or verbally admitting failure is much more difficult to do. Loved ones can also be a source of support by giving you the motivation you need to keep going when times get tough.
4. Get help if you need it
If you’ve set and shared your goal, but have no idea where to start, that’s okay. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Embracing change can be scary to do on your own. By seeking professional support you’ll get peace of mind, expert advice, and the tools you need to succeed. A financial advisor can be your biggest ally in eliminating credit card debt, and a nutritionist can provide valuable input if you want to cook healthier meals.
5. Monitor progress
Set some time aside every few weeks to check in on yourself. Think about where you started and where you are now. If things are going well, give yourself a pat on the back and consider dialing up your efforts for maximum results. If things aren’t going well, now is your chance to adjust your goals, seek help, or develop an action plan to get back on track.
6. Treat yourself
Don’t forget to celebrate milestones along the way. Giving yourself small rewards for hitting sub-goals will keep you encouraged and determined as you work your way towards the end goal. Whether it’s treating yourself to a movie or a new pair of shoes, rewards give you something to look forward to and remind you about the incredible progress you’re making.
7. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Nobody is perfect and everyone is bound to slip up from time to time. When you fall down, simply acknowledge your mistake and get back at it. The worst thing you can do is turn your temporary blunder into an excuse for giving up. If your motivation is running low, try reflecting on the achievements you’ve made so far or connecting with your support network. Remember, persistence is the key to success.