You Made Your Resolutions, Are You Keeping Them?
It might feel like resolutions are made to be broken, but this year you can change that. A resolution doesn’t have to feel like punishment for last year’s choices. It is promise to yourself. One that certainly will improve your life in one way or another. So instead of dreading the possibility of failure, grab a hold of this opportunity and make a lifelong change.
Tips to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions
Choose a Positive Resolution
Avoid describing your change in a negative way, so you will immediately have a more optimistic view of it. For example, instead of saying “I’m going to try to quit smoking,” say “I’m becoming a non-smoker.” Using the word “try” suggests that you’re already doubting your ability to succeed. Also, quitting means denying yourself something. Even if that thing isn’t good for you, it still sounds like you’re missing out. Choose to eat more fruit for snacks, rather than eating less junk food. Re-framing your resolution with positive, inspiring language helps you think of it in a happier, stress-free way.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Making any change to yourself or your lifestyle can feel uncomfortable. It’s important to be honest when you struggle, and own up to slips. Whether you’re giving up an unhealthy habit or starting a new hobby, be accountable. You may enlist the help of a close friend, family member, or use social media to broadcast updates on your progress. You don’t even necessarily need to know the people you’re posting to. It could be a smoking cessation support forum, for example, where everyone is working toward a common goal. Whichever method you choose, make sure that it’s providing you with a positive support and motivation. You might receive negative comments from people when you post in a large forum. If that will make keeping your resolution harder for you, consider only sharing with certain trusted people.
Have Realistic Expectations
Nothing will set you up for failure faster than setting an unreachable goal. Do you know someone who is always waiting until a week before an event to try to lose a lot of weight? How about someone who makes multiple lifestyle changes simultaneously, then fails at all of them? Have you been that person? Choose one, specific resolution. Be very clear about exactly what you want to achieve. If you’re not sure whether your goal is too big, ask around and do some research. Find out if there is a financial cost, how much time it will take, and common barriers to achieving the goal. Arming yourself with this knowledge allows you to be realistic with your expectations.
Make It Fun
Just like re-framing your resolution can make it more appealing, choosing something fun right at the start sets you up for success. If you’re goal is to lose weight, choose a workout that includes an activity you really enjoy. If you enjoy cycling, you’ll be much more likely to ride your bike by the beach twice a week, than to run on a treadmill in a stuffy gym. Make a resolution that adds enrichment to your life, rather than making some other resolution that focuses on denying yourself something. If you’ve always wanted to learn to how to paint, sign up for a class. Make time for those things that fill you with joy and motivation.
We all know there are ways we could be healthier, work harder, accomplish more. Maybe. However, choosing an uplifting, realistic New Years resolution and sharing with your friends will help you make a long lasting change you can be proud of.
This is the first in a series of New Year's Resolutions. You can read the rest of the series here:
- Diet and Exercise: Apps to Keep Your Physical Fitness Resolutions
- Resolutions: Apps to Keep Your Personal Wellness Goals
- Resolutions: Apps to Keep Your Lifelong Learning Goals
How do you keep yourself motivated to keep your New Year's Resolutions?