Ah, it’s almost that time of year again! The time when we make commitments to ourselves that we are doomed from the start to break within a matter of weeks. We all do it. Every January, we compile a list of our shortcomings. We promise ourselves: Eat healthy! Lose weight! Get fit! Drink less! Quit smoking! Save money! Get out of debt! It’s the same cycle every year. We may even write down our “New Year’s resolutions” on post-it’s to nag us into compliance. Shortly after, we are “too busy” with work and everything else, and lose sight of we were so determined to do. Fret not. These 8 tips below should help you keep new year’s resolutions.
1. Know your “why”
Do you want to lose weight? Start exercising? Eat healthy? That’s great. But dig deep and ask yourself, “Why do I want to lose weight?” If you say you want to lose 20 pounds, that’s not what you really want. How will losing 20 pounds make you feel? What would losing that weight enable you to do that you’re not able to right now? Maybe you want to feel beautiful and be the best version of yourself again. Maybe you want to gain back the control over your life by losing that weight. The same goes for wanting to eat healthy. Do you want to live longer, be healthier, and be able to play with your grandkids when you’re 75? Ask yourself, “what am I really going after?” Think about how doing what you want to do will enhance other parts of your life.
Your “why” will be a driving force to motivate you to achieve your goals. Write it down where you can see it every day, a daily reminder that this is a positive long-term change you want to make, not just a fad.
2. Visualize your result
Imagine how being healthy and strong will make you feel. What will you look like? What will you be able to do with your improved health condition? Imagine the feeling of the financial freedom of being debt free, or simply having more money. Seriously, try it! Close your eyes and picture yourself with a six pack on top of a bed of dollar bills. Okay, maybe right now it’s a six-pack of beer and dollar-bill bed sheets, but being able to visualize it is crucial in maintaining the motivation to invest integrity in your goals. Embrace that feeling and use it every day as your motivation to take action.
3. Commit to one new year’s resolution at a time
Sure, there may be many areas in your life you want to improve, but pick just one. Focus on achieving that goal until a new habit is adopted before moving on to the next. It is way more realistic and attainable to focus on one main goal than spreading yourself too thin and accomplishing nothing at all. Focus on small victories, celebrate, feel more confident about yourself, and be ready to conquer another goal. This way, you can keep new year’s resolutions intact.
4. Break it down and start small
Having a rel=nofollow [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria]SMART goal is a great start, but it’s not enough. You need to break it down to a set of specific, actionable items and start small. For example, if your aim is to start working out, schedule it in your calendar to follow a workout video on YouTube at home, or take a walk in the nearby park for 10 minutes, 3 days a week. Get stronger, and get accustomed to the routine. Once you’re comfortable with your routine, break it! Increase the duration. 20 minutes, 30 minutes, add one more day. Follow this plan until it is a lifestyle, not a sprint to the finish line.
5. Do a 30-day experiment
When you give yourself a timeframe to try something new, the mind handles it more easily. Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel is always a great motivator. Tell yourself that you’ll give this a go for 30 days, and after that you have the option to quit or continue. If you want to eat healthier, start by giving up just your daily sugary drinks habit. Usually, by the end of the trial period you’ve already adopted the new habit of drinking just plain water or fresh coconut water (yum!). From there, persevere, and eventually it will take no effort at all.
6. Give yourself a carrot or a stick
This approach holds you accountable and motivates you to take action. For example, tell yourself: If you exercise today, you will allow yourself to watch that favorite TV show of yours later on. Or, if you don’t work out today, you’re not going to that party this weekend. You may be more motivated by a reward or a punishment, whichever works better for you. Either way, hold yourself to it!
7. Talk about it and ask for support
Share your experiences with your loved ones. Discussing your goals is an effective way to make yourself accountable and follow through. When going out for dinner with your friends, declare to them your mission. Get them to understand and support you. People who care about you will want to help you realize your goals. Also, having someone with whom to share your struggles and successes makes it feel that much easier. Taking time to recognize your successes and failures and expressing them to another person makes them real.
8. Don’t beat yourself up
Remember that it’s OK to fall off the bandwagon from time to time. Don’t give up just because you fell once! That double cheeseburger with thick cut brown sugar bacon and mayonnaise with a side of jalape�o cheese fries and ice cream float you had instead of a chicken avocado salad isn’t your defeat! It’s OK, know that it’s just a small detour on the road to a new habit for the rest of your life. Don’t beat yourself up, and don’t use it as an excuse to give up. Just get back on track!
The most important thing of all to keep new year’s resolutions is to take one small action at a time, and keep doing it. Remember, YOU are in charge. So, will your life be any different this year? Which version of yourself with a six-pack on a bed of money do YOU want your life to be? The choice is yours.
Article Source: Keep New Year’s Resolutions With These 8 Proven Tips