New Year Day is a time to start fresh. You start off with a clean slate, promising you won’t make the same mistakes last year. We’re only two months into the New Year and if you’re like me you have already broke your resolution. New Years has turned into a vicious circle; on the first day of every year you decide on a resolution that you are most likely going to break. This can be extremely frustrating, but why does it keep happening and what can we do to fix it?
Don’t wait until New Year! In reality it does not have to be the first day of a new year to make a change in your lifestyle. If you fell off track there is no reason you can’t get back on.
Despite our best intentions, we often promise something to ourselves that is overambitious or unrealistic. Common resolutions are to quit smoking, lose weight, or save money. These examples are very achievable, but they don’t happen overnight. When people don’t start seeing immediate results they tend to lose motivation, which then leads to giving up.
Willpower isn’t everything, and just thinking about failure often makes people despondent. It is helpful to keep in mind sensible plans to address important issues in your life can be made any time of the year.
Coming up with a plan and sticking to it:
- Only make one resolution: this will help you stay focused and your chances of being successful become much greater.
- Avoid previous resolutions: they set you up for frustration and disappointment.
- Break your goal into a series of steps: create sub-goals that are concrete, measurable and time-based.
- Tell your friends and family: this will elicit support that will help you to stay on track
- Regularly remind yourself of the benefits associated with achieving your goal.
- Give yourself a small reward for when you achieve a sub-goal, this will maintain motivation and a sense of progress.
- Keep a journal: writing how you feel after a set back will help you keep from backtracking in the future; you’ll know what caused it and how to avoid it.
- Treat any failure as a set-back rather than giving up all together!