As 2015 was reaching a close, we all began to think of the resolutions to make for the upcoming year. We started to psych ourselves up for getting to the gym again, and get back on track with eating healthy. Now that the first month of 2016 is behind us, the reality of how much effort it takes to keep our New Year's resolutions is beginning to hit.
Why did we make such huge goals?
Why did we think we could change so drastically from our bad habits back to good ones?
And why did we think it would last?
It is not too late to re-evaluate resolutions and make your healthy New Year's resolutions stick through the end of 2016 (or any other year)! Here is how to get started.
How to Make New Year's Resolutions That Last All Year Long
Make more specific goals, rather than broad statements.
Think of resolutions as goals to accomplish in the upcoming year. Why do we struggle to keep them? Part of it is because we often make very broad statements, such as "I'm going to go to the gym more" or "I'm going to lose weight" or "I'm going to spend less time watching TV".
These are all great ideas, but they're not very specific. If you don't define how much more or less you want to do something, how can you possibly know if you're reaching that goal?
Instead of setting big idealistic goals, get specific. If you want to go to the gym more, resolve to add 5 hours per week to your schedule devoted to that. It's specific, but it still allows you to be flexible and go when you can. Want to watch less TV? Decide to only spend X amount of hours watching your favorite shows each week, and think of other things you can resolve to do with your newfound time. Want to drink more water? Decide to work towards drinking just 1 more glass of water per day. Adding some True Grapefruit will help make your water tastier, and more likely to be enjoyed, by the way.
Make your goals attainable, and be sure you're ready to work on them! Why are resolutions unrealistic? Is it because people decide on resolutions that are too difficult to attain, or because we don't have the will to tackle them? The first step is setting specific, measurable goals. The next step is making sure you're willing to put in the work to achieve them.
For example: You want to get a promotion at work, but you also want to travel more. These are contradicting goals, as getting that promotion may mean putting in more time in the office - but travel will take you out of it. What goals are more important to you right now, and what are you willing to put in the effort to change?
Hold yourself accountable for your goals.
Tell friends and family about your resolution, and ask them to help keep you on track. Start a blog about it and share your thoughts, feelings, and struggles. Maybe even set a calendar reminder at the 6-month mark to make sure you're where you want to be.
If you want to make your resolution happen, it will take work! But having support from others and holding yourself accountable will help you stay motivated to keep going.
Keep it simple, and don't get discouraged!
First: If you've had trouble keeping resolutions in the past, just set one simple goal. That's it, just one. See how you do.
Second: Remember to be forgiving of yourself. Resolutions, even simple ones, sometimes just don't happen. Don't beat yourself up about it. Reassess, and move forward.
Third: Give it some time. It's not easy to create new habits, and you'll most likely slip up along the way. We all do! Just keep coming back to it, and remember why you made the resolution in the first place. It'll take time, but it'll be worth it.
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