Seventy-eight percent of people fail at achieving their New Year’s resolution. Why? Is it because their goals are too lofty and will-power is crushed? Maybe they are in the contemplation stage of making a habit change and don’t know how to prepare and take action. Or is it because they are focused on the negative and not the positive aspects of their goal? Is it because they are extrinsically motivated, not intrinsically motivated, and when results don’t happen overnight they get frustrated?
Some common New Year’s resolutions are, “I am going to lose weight,” “I am going to exercise more,” “I am going to learn a new language.” Regardless of the resolution, the key is to develop a SOLID PLAN.
FOUR WAYS TO HELP YOU KEEP YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION
Keep it realistic-We tend to pick resolutions like:”I will lose 40 pounds this year” or “I will get into shape this year”. Why not try “I will focus on healthy eating/living this year” If you do focus on eating healthy foods and living a healthy lifestyle you will lose some weight, get in better shape and feel more energized. It is basically a snowball effect. You start off with making a few healthier choices and you start to feel better about yourself. You then decide to keep making more healthy choices and you find yourself losing weight and having more energy. Because you have more energy, you decide to do more swimming, walking, hiking, bicycle riding. As you exercise more, you are getting in to better shape and lose more weight. Next thing you know, you have lost the weight you wanted and are in much better shape and you had probably not even given much thought to your original New Year’s resolution.
Focus on a few ideas that will accomplish your goal – Instead of saying,” I am going to live a less stressful life” (BTW, is that remotely possible?), how about making a decision on something that will actually accomplish that goals. “I will take time, several times a week, to Meditate” Starting to meditate, even for just 10 minutes, will have a positive effect on your ability to deal with stressful situations. “I will get a Massage when I am unduly stressed out. Massage not only helps relieve the physical stress that you carry in your muscles but also provides a chance to relax and recharge yourself emotionally and spiritually. While these things will not cause your life to be less stressful, they will certainly impact how you react to those stresses. The better able you are to cope with stress, the less stressed you will feel.
Accept that change takes time and that every small step forward is still a on your path.- I often hear from people that there really is no point in trying to do anything about a situation because it cannot be fixed in a day, week, month or even a year. We are living in a world where everything is all about wanting it NOW! Instant movies, Instant messages, Fast food, constant updates on your mobile devices. We seem to forget that the really meaningful things in life take time. Remember: It takes time to fall in love, to love yourself; it takes time to grow into the person you would like to be, it takes time to heal the cuts, scrapes and bruises that life dishes out. The majority of time, the situation you are trying to change did not happen overnight. It happened over a period of time. Just taking one step in a positive direction puts you that much farther ahead than you were a moment ago.
Remember not to beat yourself up– if you”mess up” just take a breath and continue on your way.