January 1st symbolizes a fresh start, an opportunity to reflect and let go of anything that has not worked in the past and to make positive changes for the future. Unfortunately, statistics show that 49% of people who make New Year’s resolutions experience infrequent success and 24% never succeed. To avoid becoming another statistic, we’ve put together some tips to help you make achievable and inspiring resolutions. Whether you want to lose weight, be healthier, have more money or communicate better in your relationships, this month’s compass will help you keep your resolutions, so you’re not feeling like a failure by February.
1. Get Real!
The most important part of making and keeping any resolution is to be as realistic as possible. This means brutal honesty – with yourself. Consider the following resolution: “I will exercise everyday, rain or shine!” Let’s get real, most gym nuts don’t even exercise everyday, so why put such a daunting expectation on yourself? Set a goal for yourself that is doable and works with your lifestyle and schedule. If you don’t enjoy working out, then maybe the gym is not for you – try to make a commitment to yoga or dance lessons and get your exercise in an alternative way.
2. Details! Details! Details!
In addition to making your resolutions realistic, it is also important that they are specific. “I’m going to lose weight” is very vague compared to a statement like “I will lose 10 pounds.” Being specific helps to organize your resolutions and increases the chance that you will succeed. It also helps you know when you have reached your goal.
3. Put a positive spin on it.
It is a lot easier to do something than to not do something. For instance, if your resolution is to eat healthier, it is easier to add more vegetables to every meal, than to swear off chocolate for the whole year. When you deprive yourself of something completely, it makes the thing you are trying to give up more desirable and more powerful. We are suggesting a different approach, try replacing the negative with more positive. Here are some examples:
Negative: “I will stop spending money on things I don’t need.”
Positive: “I will put $100 into my savings account every 2 weeks.”
Negative: “I will give up sugar.”
Positive: “I will eat vegetables at every meal.”
Negative: “I will stop taking things so personally.”
Positive: “I will be kind to myself by ____.”
4. Track your progress.
Write down your resolutions and throughout your journey, check in to see how you are coming along. Chronicling your progress is essential to achieving your resolutions because you create a record of how you are doing and it becomes clear when you have reached your goals. If you are finding that it is getting difficult to meet your goal, then reevaluate and set a more achievable goal. Resolutions are not just for January, but throughout the year.
5. Express Yourself!
Share your resolutions with your friends and loved ones. Enlist their help along your journey. You don’t have to do it all alone. Get a workout buddy. Go food shopping with a friend. If you have a friend who has already achieved what you hope to accomplish this year, then pick their brain about what worked for them and what their struggles were. Maybe you can learn from their mistakes or maybe they will just provide much needed support and be there to cheer you on when things get tough.
6. To Me – Good Job!
How are you going to reward yourself when you achieve a resolution? Sure reaching the goal is a reward in itself, but hey why not celebrate with a night out, a manicure, a new outfit or a day of peace. Just be mindful that your reward doesn’t set you back in your resolution, such as eating a whole cake when you are trying a healthier diet or splurging on a designer outfit when you are trying to grow your savings account. Your reward should help you celebrate your achievement not make you feel guilty for falling off the bandwagon.