If you’ve made your New Year’s resolutions religiously each year, you’ve probably found that change is harder said than done. In fact, data from Googleshow that, every December, the number of people that search ‘gym’ spikes.
From exercising more to becoming more financially responsible and quitting a bad habit, many of us have a hard time staying on track with our resolutions. This year, instead of falling back into your old habits, make a decision to stick to it! Here are five tips to show you how:
1. Set Realistic Expectations
If you are hoping to make a change this year, make sure you’ve set realistic expectations for yourself so that you can stay motivated and avoid disappointment. Recognize yourself and don’t push yourself beyond your limits. For example, if you would like to purchase a house, car or another big-ticket item, instead of resolving to make more money, consider committing to saving more or sticking to a budget. Making resolutions that depend on factors outside of your control (such as making more money) is an easy trap that often leads to unfulfilled resolutions.
2. Make Tangible Short-Term Goals
While you should set long-term goals when it comes to making a New Year’s resolution, you should always remember to pace yourself and set short-term goals that will help you make a greater change and also make it more manageable. You should always be specific in the goals you set. For example, if you would like to lose weight this year, consider cutting out one unhealthy food (such as chips or cookies) from your diet each week and spending an additional 10 to 15 minutes at the gym each week.
3. Keep a Log
In addition to writing out your resolution, you should also make a plan and keep a log of your progress. This log will not only help you monitor your progress but can also help keep you focused on your goals.
4. Find a Buddy
Committing to a large change can be difficult but making a change with a friend who can support you through the process will make it much easier to stay on track and stay motivated. But make sure to select a friend who can be honest with you and hold you to your goals and commitments.
5. Reward Yourself
Creating rewards, even small ones, is an important step in rewiring your brain to make a change. So don’t be afraid to reward yourself, especially after you’ve achieved one of your short-term goals. However, just make sure your rewards are not counterproductive toward your goals. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, consider rewarding yourself with the day at the spa rather than going to an expensive restaurant.
KathyD is a guest blogger. In exchange for sharing this content, GoodHandsCommunity.org has compensated her via cash payment.