It’s that time of year again! “New Year, New Me,” as we like to say. “Lose weight, save money, eat healthy, learn a new hobby, get in shape,” all probably make an appearance on our list, just like the year before. While we all go into January with these goals in mind, they are hard to keep without a plan. Here are some tips to help you actually keep your resolutions this year!

Keep them simple. While planning out your new year, it is easy to get carried away and make extravagant plans and goals. In this state of mind, we may find ourselves writing a list a mile long. This just sets us up for disappointment and guilt. Pick out one or two goals to start with and put your focus on them.

Be realistic. As much as we may want it to, things don’t change overnight. If you haven’t set foot in a gym in five years, you aren’t going to start going six days a week on January 1. Reflect and be realistic with yourself, what made you previously lose a resolution? Could you have resolved to save an unreasonable amount of money or lose too much weight? Try starting off small then working your way up. Your approach can always be adjusted. Remember, it is a marathon, not a sprint.

Break it up. Split your goals into manageable sized chunks. The more you plan out now, the more likely you are to reach the end. This is where you build habits and willpower, that you will eventually end up falling back on during the process. Set clear and realistic goals and then plan on how you will get to them.

Plan a time frame. This is how you assess your short-term progress, which will eventually lead you to the long-term goal. Set aside a calendar or journal so that you can plan your actions for the coming weeks and months. You can also decide when and how often to evaluate.  They say it takes 21 days to build a habit, but that’s for an easy one. According to a recent study, it takes 66 days to build a new habit.  So, don’t get discouraged.

Make Notes. Since you made your timeline, you now have a physical reminder of your goal. To take this further, write down the details of your resolutions in a notebook or diary. Along with that, add in your motivations. Try adding in photos, quotes, or anything that will remind you of your initial motivation. When you find yourself wanting to give up, look back on this and remind yourself of why you started. As your journey continues, you can add updates on your progression.

Treat yourself. This is vital to your journey. Be sure to reward yourself at important milestones. Just be sure to not let yourself fall into the danger zone of over indulging. It’s easy for us to say, “I’ve been doing so well, I can have a treat,” but just remember how far you have come and be sure to set limits.

Get support. Asking for help and support from those who care about you will only strengthen your resilience. Surround yourself with trustworthy and supportive people and tell them about your plans. This also allows for someone else to hold you accountable in keeping your resolutions. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help.

Put yourself in charge. While other people can advise and support you throughout your journey, ultimately, it is you who has to take action. Those who blame everyone and everything around them for their failures do not have the resources needed to change. Having secure control over your life is necessary in achieving your goals.

While taking responsibility for your future can be scary, it’s much better than the alternative. As you go through this journey remember, be kind to yourself and have patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Happy New Year!

 

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