Every year we make new resolutions for the New Year and every year we struggle to keep them. Research shows that 75% of resolutions will be continued through the first week of January and only 8% make it the full year. Oof.
Popular resolutions include eating healthy, exercising daily, getting more sleep, saving money. Sometimes the problem is the list of resolutions we make is so long it overwhelms us and we can’t find the motivation to even start.
Here are some tips to make your resolutions stick.
Don’t try to change your whole life at once. Pick one thing or a few small things to change. If you want to exercise more, then start small. Make it enjoyable. Exercise three days a week for thirty minutes each time. This is feasible compared to seven days a week for two hours each day.
If you want to eat healthier, then do so in small changes. Replace dessert with fruit or yogurt. Don’t try to cut out all sugar and carbs at one time. Strive to make small changes. Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time. Thus, replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones also requires time.
Tell family and friends about your New Year’s resolutions. You need support and encouragement, so gather and involve your tribe. This will also hold you accountable. Share your struggles and successes. Employ a buddy system to reach your goals. Everything is better with a friend.
Reward yourself for sticking to your goals. Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going especially in the beginning. Start off with a weekly reward for meeting your goals. Maybe it’s a cheat meal, or a spa day. Later you can change the rewards to monthly. At the end of the year, pick a year anniversary reward. Plan something that you can focus on and look forward to throughout the year.
Track your progress. If your goal is to read more, keep track of how much you are reading so you can see your progress. Most of the time we are making progress, but we don’t recognize it because we are not tracking our successes.
One suggestion is to find an app to track your progress, or grab a physical notebook and put a pen to paper – there’s power in that!
When you fall off the wagon, don’t beat yourself up. You are bound to have minor missteps. Just because you ate a dessert, missed the gym for a week or didn’t stick to your goals for a period of time is no reason to give up. There will always be ups and downs. Be resilient, resolve to recover from your mistakes and get back on track. Forgive yourself, move on and keep trying.
You’ve got this!