Happy New Year to everyone reading this! As 2019 has arrived, it is a popular time for people to be making New Year’s resolutions. These are notoriously hard to stick to, but check out these tips and tricks to help follow your freshly-made goals! As an example, I’ll be sticking to going to the gym as our main goal—but they are easily applied to any and all objectives you may have in mind.
FOCUS ON THE FUTURE
Don’t let the past control your present mind. The past is a series of moments which can never be relived. The future is moments which you can look forward to. Instead, to get yourself to stick to your gym plans (for example), you can look forward to how healthy you will feel after your workout or the fun of buying new gym clothes. This will keep you motivated to reach what you want.
I suggest using the SMARTER goal acronym. S: specific, M: measurable, A: attainable, R: realistic, T: time-bound, E: economical, and the final R stands for reward. An example of this would be losing 10 pounds in six months—this is specific. Measurable means how you will measure your success, for losing weight you would use a scale. For the goal to be attainable, you would have to make a plan. For example, starting a schedule to go to the gym five times a week, or setting aside Sundays as your day to prepare meals.
For the goal to be realistic, you must determine if it can actually be achieved. If the goal was to lose 10 pounds in 10 days, that wouldn’t be realistic. However, the time frame and goal is something that can actually happen with a plan. Time-bound is the time frame which you will try to achieve your goal, six months, for example. Economical refers to how much it will cost. If you are trying to lose weight and you hire a personal trainer, that will cost money. If this is too expensive for you, then it wouldn’t be economical. It is important for a goal to be within your budget or it will cause added stress, making your goal harder to achieve. Finally, you must reward yourself. You should plan the reward before you start trying to achieve your goal; this will give you something to look forward to. Setting realistic and achievable goals will help you stay true to your resolution.
EASE INTO IT
This resolution is a new part of your life. You must let yourself ease into it while breaking an old habit and forming this new one. For example, if your goal is to go to the gym five times a week, start with once a week for the first week. Then go twice a week for the next two weeks. After this, go three times, four times and so on. Starting out at five times a week would be overwhelming and could make your resolution harder to keep.
MAKE A VOW TO YOURSELF
What this means is you promise yourself that you are going to keep your resolution. It should be specific and realistic. I suggest writing it down and reading it every day. Vowing to yourself is an important step.
To go along with the SMARTER goals and making vows, writing them down and placing them in your everyday environment also helps. Write down your goals and promises on sticky notes and put them where you will see them as daily reminders to keep striving for the goal. Also, writing positive affirmations can create a positive environment, which makes keeping the resolution easier. My favorite positive affirmation is, “Everything I need comes effortlessly and naturally.” I have mine in my bathroom, bedroom and kitchen, as well as my screen saver on my phone and laptop. Some people like to put them in their wallet, car, or on something related to their goal, like a treadmill for example.
TELL EVERYONE ABOUT YOUR RESOLUTION
You can do this to whatever extent you want: telling just friends and family versus posting on social media. Or shouting it from your window, and filling your uber driver in on your way to work. Whatever works for you! Either way, making your goals known will hold you accountable for keeping your resolution.
Let’s face it. New Year’s resolutions are not easy to keep, because they are often about changing something big in your life. My greatest piece of advice is to use these tips for any and every change you want to make, and don’t wait until the next new year. 2020 is far away, and you have a whole year to make your life amazing. Most importantly, live fearlessly and have a happy New Year!
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