Since it is still January, but somewhat away from New Years, I thought I would help those who are struggling to keep their new year resolutions (If you are not into New Year resolutions, then this article still has great advice on how to change your life and turn that into a lifelong journey). As the new year starts, the new changes are made. People realize this year should be different and they should take this opportunity to improve their life. In order to make these goals special, they are given the label “New Year Resolutions” because they are based on goals to improve your life in this new year compared to your previous year. I myself have some new year resolutions and I have been coming up with different ways others and myself can stick with our resolution. New year resolutions seem to have gotten a bad reputation. People in the gym get upset others waited until the new year in order to make a change. It's reality most of these individuals will bail on their resolution. It's reality that most resolutions will not succeed....but why? Because these individuals did not have everything in line for them to succeed. I want to take the time today to help those individuals starting a new year in the right direction from failing because they didn't prepare in order to succeed.
Before we get into how you can keep and how you will remember your resolutions, we need to think of the type of resolutions you should have. Think about their purpose. Being it is passed New Years, you should already have some resolutions in mind. For those who are still trying to come up with resolutions, think of ways you can improve your life. These goals should not be only for short term gain or even for the opinion of others. Having “losing weight” because of what others think or to impress other will never last. You must have a bigger purpose behind the madness. Having resolutions that are made to improve both your well being and enjoyment in life will stay longer than a resolution made to impress someone.
Your resolutions should be process orientated. Individuals love to have resolutions such as "lose 30 pounds", but forget it is the process which makes the end result happen. Instead of having an end result goal that may not last long (gain the weight back) I want you to form habit. Use goals you can track daily and determine if you did or did not continue the positive habit. Instead of having "lose 30 pounds" as your resolution, I want you to use "go to the gym and workout for 45 minutes a day and walk 30 minutes a day" (walking does not count as the workout unless you are incredibly obese, or are diagnosed by your doctor that that's all you should do). Have goals you can track daily, not just a one time thing. This way you can measure your progress, stay on track, and form habits that will last you a lifetime!
The very first thing to do in order to remind you to keep fighting for a better life is to find somewhere you should display your resolutions. Everyone tells you to write it down, but where? Many claim for you to just write it down on a piece of paper. Do you take that paper with you everywhere? Do you see it every time you wake up and get ready for work or school? No! I want you to get a marker (permanent if you got balls to do so) and write your resolutions in the top/middle of a mirror you look into every single day. Hell, I also want you to take a picture of it written down on your phone. Set that as your wallpaper and lock screen background. There should be no doubt in seeing your resolutions every single day! (I use memo or notepad to write it out and screenshot it/set as background)
You've already written it out on the mirror, now what? Remember how you wrote it in the middle? Remember how your resolution should be measurable daily? I want you to write on the left side "I did" and on the right "I can do better". Every time you accomplished that daily habit, put a tally under "I did". Every time you did not accomplish your daily habit, put a tally under "I can do better". As the year goes by you can see your progress. This way you can see your daily commitment or be reminded that you can do better.
After you have set up your goals and daily reminder, it's time for some back up support. Find a friend that has similar goals as you. Share with them the method above and have them do the same. Keep each other in check with staying committed to your goals and committed to being honest with yourself on your progress. Having a "partner in crime" will help you stay committed and help you enjoy reaching your goal with another individuals.
Sometimes declaring your goals to the world helps individuals stick to their goals. Maybe it’s the moral support they get from their followers. Maybe it’s the fear of admitting they didn’t stick with it. Either way, posting your resolutions can help you stick to them and help you find moral support. You can also find those who are trying to accomplish the same resolutions and keep track with one another. The more support and people to keep you in check, the better.
You've heard the phrase "Failing to plan is planning to fail" before, right? Nothing is different here. Plan out how you are going to get your resolution set up for success. If your goal is the gym, plan out how you will get there and other options in case your source of transportation fails. If you're resolution is to walk everyday regardless, then buy a treadmill or buy a gym membership at a gym with a track in case the weather is bad. Also plan ahead so that you can plan to succeed!
When thinking of accomplishing a goal, we tend to forget easy ways to form reinforcing habits. One of the easiest, yet most effective ways to remember your task for the day (in order to fork the habit resulting in a successful resolution) is doing the task first thing when you wake up. That means once you wake up you must be disciplined enough to not do anything else until that task is done. For me that was blogging and coming out with content every single morning with my coffee. For others it could be doing a 45 minute workout at home before breakfast. Whatever it is, start your day with it! That way you will not only be successfully in the right direction, but you will also start the day in a positive way.
The last and final tip I have for how to keep your resolution is pretty simple. Enjoyment! Find ways you can enjoy forming positive habits. Join a Zumba class. Make salads with the family. Find those with similar mindsets. Most importantly, find something you can do long term, hopefully for the rest of your life. If you can't stand the habit you are trying to create, you will not stick with it. Enjoyment is part of the process and makes the process successful.
With these few tips, you will successfully turn a "New Years Resolution" into a life long habit. Remember every years that it's time to make long term changes, not short term fixes. Weight can be gained easier than it was lost, but solid habits will always keep you in check. Even if you are not labeling goals as “New Year Resolutions”, you can still follow the same advice for a successful change and a better tomorrow.