The majority of 2017 New Year’s resolutions revolve around self-improvement. A study shows 21 percent of people who made resolutions this year resolve to lose weight and eat healthier, 12 percent resolve to make life improvements in general, 9 percent are trying to make better financial decisions, and 7 percent will attempt to quit smoking. The odds are, you can relate to one of these resolutions. We are in the sixth week of 2017, and although nearly 73 percent of us who made resolutions were able to celebrate a job well done after week one of the new year, only 58 percent of us could commend ourselves on staying strong throughout all of January. It’s already February, and those who are still committed to their resolution will soon be dwindling. Even if you are someone who gave up their resolution on day 10, or if you are the person who is holding on to your resolution for dear life, but is about to snap, take a deep breath, hold your head up high, and listen to these strategies that will help you gain (or lose) all you had hoped for in 2017!
Communicate Your Goals / Resolutions
We’ve all heard the cliché, “communication is key,” but it just might be the thing that keeps your promise to yourself, and sometimes the easiest promises to break are the ones we tell ourselves.
- Don’t keep your resolution to yourself, if you haven’t already, tell people. Tell your family, friends, co-workers, anyone, who will hold you accountable.
- Don’t embark on this journey alone. Is your goal to finally become organized? Trust, anyone who has children and pets understands this resolution, so do it together!
- Journal, track, or measure your progress, any sort of self-checkup will be helpful in the future. Maybe the resolution is to drink more water daily. Keep track of how your body feels on days when it is hydrated compared to days it is dehydrated. This personal communication can sometimes be the best reminders. Build self-awareness.
SMART goals are Business 101, and they work so well when applied to life choices. SMART is an acronym for: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-based.
- Make goals specific. When losing weight, it’s more likely to happen with goals like, “I want to lose two pounds a month,” rather than, “I want to be skinner”.
- That being said, goals that are measurable are more successful. If eating healthier is ideal for you, start by cutting out saturated fats, or processed sugars, then once that becomes second nature, cut down on alcohol or sodium. Slowly, but surely, your mind and body will align to make decisions that are best for you.
- It’s easier to fall off the wagon when there are too many resolutions to be made, and when the resolution seems larger than life. Having one goal that is achievable in small increments is best in the long run.
- Start with baby steps, and let the momentum from small victories lead you to larger ones.
Sticking to Your Goals / Resolutions
Change is not Temporary
Rarely is change made overnight. For a resolution to stick, it must be a lifestyle change you decide on. Become mindful of the way you are living.
- Meal prep, leave the credit card at home and carry a finite amount of cash in your wallet, make a schedule for the week that incorporates your resolution. Plan.
- It’s difficult to deviate from everyday routines, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you temporarily fall back into an old routine.
Mind Over Matter
A strong mind makes a strong body.
- If all fails, press the restart button and begin again. Who says you can’t? Maybe reaching your goal will be easier the second time around.
- When willpower all but evaporates, search within and remind yourself of those reasons why you want change.
- Willpower does not last forever.
Sometimes, when it comes to resolutions, less can be more. Improvements don’t have to be grandiose. Reward yourself when you see small changes, and even if you’ve already quit once it’s not too late to start new!