How long do your New Year’s resolutions last? Maybe a day? A week? A month? What would it mean for you if you were able to make them last for good?
I’m guessing that you have made your resolution(s) because you think it will make your life better. So here are some simple ways to help you keep your New Year’s resolutions:
1. Work With Your Strengths
The easiest way to make changes to your life is by using skills and resources you already have. This could be an innate ability or strength of yours, something you own or even a friend or family member who has required expertise (or who can act as a cheer squad for you). For example: If your resolution is to exercise more, then you would be more likely to follow through if you pick an exercise you already enjoy, have skills in and/or have equipment for.
A decision to “walk for 30 minutes every day” is much more concrete than a vague decision to “exercise more”. Making something more concrete means you are more likely to follow through with it because you know what you are planning to do and how.
3. Make Your Resolution Achievable and Realistic
Too often we set ourselves resolutions which are not practical or achievable in the short term. Having a long term goal is great but making short term goals to get you there will help you maintain motivation towards the end result. For example, you won’t become an expert kick-boxer overnight but a resolution to attend 2 kickboxing classes a week is a good start.
4. Set a Time Frame
Tip: Try setting short time frames such as a week or two to start off with and build up to longer ones.
5. Ask a Friend to Help
Having someone to keep you accountable will also make it easier to stick to your resolution. Whether you decide to go for a walk with a friend rather than alone or just have someone who asks how you are going with your resolution. Involving someone else who can be encouraging will help you stay on track long term.
6. Celebrate Achievements
Celebrating helps with motivation and enjoyment of your new habit (instead of it becoming a chore). Even if it is “only” that you woke up the same time every day for a week (and you have friends who do this all the time). If it is an achievement for you then it is worth celebrating.
Tip: When you celebrate try to pick something which won’t undermine your end goal.
And don’t forget, it can take anywhere from 18 – 200 days for changes to become habit so don’t get discouraged if it takes a little longer than you expected. Good luck!