It’s that time of year again. After the shopping, endless parties, and holiday magic – it’s time to gather up your courage for a brand-new set of New Year’s resolutions. Last year I decided to make a New Year’s resolution that I could keep, and that was not making one at all. I am happy to report that for the first time EVER, I have kept my resolution! But, where was the fun in that? I have to admit, not having a resolution did prove to be good for one thing, it reminded me the importance of setting goals. Your goal or resolution doesn’t have to be big or extreme, but small attainable goals will make you feel accomplished and can even help you achieve great things throughout the year; if they are realistic and thoughtfully made.
According to Forbes, about one third of New Year’s resolutions do not make it past the first month. Another survey found that four out of five people will eventually break their resolution. Hearing this can make a person do exactly what I did this past year, choose to not set any resolution at all. Two of the main reasons a person’s motivation may dwindle quickly are either they become overwhelmed because they underestimate how long it takes to kick a bad habit or adopt a good one, or they make a goal that is too vague.
Below are some tips to help you achieve your goals for 2019:
1. Keep your resolutions simple and be realistic: Make a resolution that you think you can keep; don’t set goals to high, ignoring all reality. Be sure to consider your previous experience with resolutions. Why didn’t you succeed in the past? It may be that you resolved to lose too much weight or set a goal to save an unrealistic amount of money. For example, if your resolution is to exercise more frequently, schedule three days a week at the gym instead of seven.
2. Set a time frame: Estimate your short-term progress towards your ultimate long-term goal. Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time. Studies show that it takes an average of 66 days before a new habit becomes automatic; so it’s will not happen overnight. Therefore, replacing an unhealthy behavior with a healthy one will require time. Try not to get overwhelmed, you do not have to correct everything in your life at once. Instead, work toward changing one thing at a time.
3. Share your experiences with family and friends: Talk about it. Consider joining a support group to reach your goals, such as a workout class at your gym or a group of coworkers with similar goals. Sharing your struggles and successes with someone makes your journey to a healthier lifestyle that much easier.
4. Don’t Give Up: If you aren’t seeing the results you want right away, don’t feel discouraged or let go of your game plan. You are worth it! It’s important to remember that you’ve committed to a lifestyle change, not a quick-fix.
5. Treat yourself: Definitely celebrate reaching your ultimate goal, but don’t forget to celebrate your smaller accomplishments along the way too. Reward yourself with something that makes you happy and reinforces your healthy commitment!
I urge each one of you to take the statistics above as a challenge and to join me in making a realistic and measurable resolution that you can achieve this year. It will feel so good in the end. Cheers to an amazing 2019, you’ve got this!