I’ve long wondered why we feel compelled to make these resolutions. Perhaps I’ve been the kind of person who makes little resolutions with myself all year and never really thought about New Year’s as a time for doing so. Nonetheless, I realize that many people want to start the new year fresh. They want to turn over a new leaf, so to speak. Start living right, better, more successfully. But, how can you make your resolutions stick? What are some ways to make sure that this time next year, you are not kicking yourself and saying, I didn’t make it last year, but I will this year.
Here are some tips I’ve found useful:
- Make sure the resolution is yours and not someone else’s. In other words, don’t do something because your spouse said you should or your boss said you should. Do it because it’s something you really want to do.
- Find a resolution buddy who can help you monitor yourself. This means someone whom you trust and who will keep you accountable. Preferably you are doing the same with that person. As a teen, I lost a good bit of weight because my sister and I went on a diet together and monitored each other. She found me at the cook cabinet as often as I found her. We both lost weight.
- Give yourself positive rewards along the way. If, for example, your resolution is to work out more. After a week of solid workouts, do something to reward yourself. It could be going to a coffee shop and splurging on a latte or heading to the salon and treating yourself to a pedicure.
- If you falter, don’t give up. It’s not all or nothing. Pick yourself up and start again. Usually during Lent I give up something. If I mess up and eat or drink that something, I continue to sacrifice longer. In other words, I extend the 40 days and 40 nights. You can do that too. If you planned to work out every day and you skip a day, add another day at the end of the calendar.
- Don’t make your goal too hard. Smaller goals give you greater successes. Instead of saying you’ll lose 40 pounds, give yourself the goal of losing 10. For me, when I started writing my first novel, I didn’t say I’d write a “novel,” instead, I said I’d write 5 pages a day during the week. That seemed manageable and it was.
- If you mess up on your resolutions over and over, ask yourself this important question: What is stopping you? There may be some deeper issues that are preventing you from getting what you want. Go deeper and see if you can counteract those blockages.