Why is it so hard to keep your new year resolution? Last year, my resolution was to lose weight. But, sometime between January and February, my motivation fizzled out. So, this year, my resolution is to lose weight.
Do you have the same goal this year that you had last year? Read on.
At the end of last year I starting implementing a few concepts to help me reach short term personal goals. I’ve found them useful and I think you’ll find them useful for new year resolutions – which are, in fact, just another type of personal goal.
Here are three quick tips that will help you out.
1. Create a new year resolution that is specific and realistic
If you’re new year resolution is not realistic, you will not achieve your goal. So, ask yourself, is this really something that I can accomplish. For example, instead of I resolve to lose weight (which is what I said last year), I will restructure my goal to “I resolve to lose 10 pounds by the end January”. Making the resolution realistic and specific gives you a framework with which to measure your progress. So, when you are able to accomplish the realistic goal, it automatically spurs you on to keep working on another realistic goal for February. By the end of the year, guess what? You will have accomplished the big picture goal that was the point of setting the resolution in the first place.
2. Use principles to keep you on track
Principles are small actions that, collectively, will allow you to reach the standard that you are striving for. For example, what if your new year resolution is to stop smoking. That’s a common one. A principle that you could put in place might be that every time you feel the urge to smoke, you chew a piece of gum. In my quest to shed pounds, one new prinicple that I’m putting in place is to drink water in place of sodas. If I use other principles, like eating chicken and fish instead of beef. Then, the principles work together to help me achieve the bigger goal. They are convenient because they can be monitored short term.
3. Put in place a system of accoutability
Accountability may be the #1 reason why so many of us fail to achieve any goal that requires a change of habit. In my quest to lose weight, I have decided to try the EA Sports Active game for the Wii as a way to get me moving again. In the commercial, the guy says that the program gave him something to be accountable to. That is key. But, being accountable to something inanimate may not work for all of us. For me, it has been that my husband asks me each evening if I’ve exercised today. It’s up to me to do the work. But it keeps me motivated when I know that he’s going to ask me when he gets home from work. Naturally, we want to answer in the affirmative when we are trying to reach a goal. If we have to answer no, it just feels bad.
New year resolutions challenge you to meet a higher standard in your life than what you are currently experiencing. So, keeping them is well worth the effort. Whether it’s losing weight, being more decisive, or finally kicking a bad habit, the results don’t always come easy. Using these three tips will give you a starting point and make it just a little easier. And, they can apply to any goal you have, now or all year long.
What plans do you have in place for making and setting goals. Share your tips, stories, and experiences below.
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