How to Keep Your New Year's Resolution

A book with the words

Every year we have a list of behaviors we would like to correct. By the time we are finished with our list, we have a hefty number of resolutions to work on. Although some people are ready to jump straight into their first goal, others are unsure where to start. Consider this a New Year’s resolution handbook. From here on, you will read some of the most essential tips to ensure that you not only keep your New Year’s resolution, but you reach the results that are most important to you.

Limit Your Resolutions

When we are creating our lists, we begin to write down every imperfection that we would like to correct. The longer the list, the harder it gets to focus your energy on one specific goal. To start, just pick one resolution that you feel is the most important to you. It is essential to remember that correcting behaviors can be difficult. Establishing new behavioral patterns takes time and focus. The energy that is directed toward a singular goal eliminates the need to spread yourself thin, trying to focus all your time and resources across different objectives. Too much at once can become intimidating, which becomes one of the main reasons people begin abandoning their resolutions early on.

Simplify your list of resolutions. This gives you time to properly study what you are trying to achieve. Starting with a well-defined and concrete goal allows you to evaluate your purpose for this goal, and how relevant it is to your journey.

Remember Past Mistakes

If you are reading this blog, this is more than likely not your first time trying to tackle some of your New Year’s resolutions. Several factors can contribute to the resolution not being completed. With busy schedules, it becomes difficult trying to keep up with what went wrong. If this is a goal that you have previously tried to accomplish, take some time to reflect. Making the same mistakes year after year will begin to reduce your belief in your capabilities.

Create a list of factors that contributed to past failures, along with what you can do to address those obstacles if they do arise again. This will provide a guide to a better structure. Sometimes, the obstacles we face are the parameters of our goals. We become so excited to see change that we set unrealistic standards for ourselves. Re-evaluating your goals to ensure that they are achievable is important in avoiding failure and frustration.

Make a Detailed Plan

Having a well-thought-out plan eliminates many hurdles along the way. No plan is the reason we are quick to give up when met with barriers. We have no direction to follow, and no resources to go to when lost. Planning can start by researching the specific challenge. You do not know what you do not know, so it does not hurt to gather as much information as possible and weigh your options out.

Most resolutions are a lot more intricate, requiring brainstorming before the start. Creating a spreadsheet or even a sheet of paper that illustrates all the steps, the purpose of this resolution, and ways to stay on track are helpful in not only keeping organized but remembering the reason for this resolution. This detailed plan with steps provides a visual representation of everything that you have accomplished along the way. Being able to see actual progress is a great motivator to continue toward the finish line.

Reward Yourself

We have become accustomed to the tradition of receiving the big payoff only once we have completed the final task. It does not always have to be like this. It is ok to be a lot nicer to ourselves. We should acknowledge success whether we have taken a small or a big step. Once you have completed one of your planned steps, reward yourself occasionally with a snack or a small gift to celebrate the achievement. You may have a long way to go, but the important thing to remember is that you are putting in the effort.

By the end of the year, you will have received the biggest reward of all, completing what you believed to be the impossible. That should not be the only reward. To finish things off, plan something that you look forward to.

Patience

In the end, we are all human. Changing behavior that has developed over the years will not be easy. You cannot expect a change in a matter of days, change is a process. Expect to make a mistake or two, and if so, take a deep breath. Long-term dedication is what sets apart success and failure. Following these steps will not guarantee you immediate gain without trust in yourself. We tend to be a lot harsher on ourselves, so if halfway through the year things go south, do not be afraid to start fresh. Who says New Year’s resolutions cannot start in June?

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