I think New Year’s Resolutions are meant to be broken if the aren’t well thought out.
Most people seem to break their resolutions early into the year even if they have good intentions. Last year was my first year EVER where I could honestly say I fulfilled all of my resolutions. I took a few days to come up with three that were important to me that I would fulfill. These weren’t the kind of resolutions you share at a New Year’s Eve party before midnight – those are the kind I try to avoid. These ones were personal, and hard to share with others so they understood why I set them. I am by far no expert at setting resolutions, but here are some tips that were successful for me!
1. Set Specific Goals
Saying “I want to lose weight this year”, or “I want to go to the gym more this year”, are easy resolutions to break because they are not specific. How many times a week will you go to they gym? If you go once a month is that enough to fulfill the resolution? Is losing 5 lbs at one point in the year enough to say you were successful?
Using measurable goals will motivate you more to attain them! There is more of a chance you will fulfill a resolution where you specifically say something like “I will go to the gym 3 times per week for the year”, because if you go once or twice a week (or not at all) then you know you are not reaching your goal. Hopefully there will be some guilt associated with you not fulfilling you end of the deal.
2. Write Your Resolutions Down
Having a visual will remind you to keep up with your resolutions when you wander off track. I had a horrible job once that I just loathed, and someone suggested to me that I write down on a piece of paper “It’s just a job” and hang it somewhere in my office (don’t worry – I worked from home!) to remind me that there was so much more to life than what I was doing for work. This silly piece of paper had this crazy calming effect that would wash over me every time I read it. Speaking it is one thing, but the visual gave me something to focus on.
Writing my resolutions down really inspired me to fulfill what I had set out to do. I wrote them down in my day planner which I looked at every day, and on the days my mind was elsewhere I would inadvertently look at that page and get back on track.
3. Think About Keeping Your Resolutions To Yourself
Sometimes it’s a good idea to keep personal things to yourself. If you are positive this is a resolution you want people to know about, and you know you can achieve it then sharing shouldn’t be a problem. If you are worried you can’t fulfill your end of the deal, it may be a good idea not to Tweet your list of resolutions!
The things I work the hardest at to achieve just seem to be a personal struggle that I’m not ready to share until it flops or becomes a success. I’m a little superstitious when it comes to my personal goals. I feel like if I go ahead and say “I just had the most amazing interview and I’m sure I’m going to get the job!”, then I’ve jinxed myself and have no shot. I feel like the same goes for resolutions – over sharing what you think you will do can backfire. For some people being vocal could push them more to achieve. If that’s you than go for it! I am absolutely not one of those people.
4. Be Realistic. Seriously.
Don’t set yourself up for failure before the year even starts. This seems like a simple one, but in my previous resolutions that were less successful it seems like I picked things that were totally unattainable. Start small! Choose something that you have to work at to attain, but not so hard you are going to be bummed you didn’t make it.
5. Track Your Progress and Celebrate Your Successes
After I had my son I had a pretty specific goal to lose the exact amount of weight I had gained while pregnant. Along the way I used a great App called My Fitness Pal that tracked my progress during my journey. When I reached milestones I usually celebrated with a cheeseburger, but that was celebration enough for me!
Tracking your progress along the way can help you determine how you made it to that point, and what you did right to get there.
Good luck with your resolutions, and have a Happy new Year!