Many of us make New Year’s Resolutions with the intention of making changes that we have been thinking about. There is something about the beginning of a year that gives us a renewed sense of hope. The challenge is that the majority of people start off strong, but don’t stick to their resolutions for very long. This year, instead of just writing a list of resolutions, there are four simple steps you can take to set you up for success.
1. Write down a list of all of your resolutions. Narrow it down to your top three and pick just one to work on. Pick the one you are most excited about and the most willing to commit to. Keeping it simple sets you up for success, as you don’t want to overcommit and get discouraged.
2. It is important to understand why you want to achieve your goals. For example, if eating healthier is one of your resolutions, ask yourself why this is important to you. Is it because you want to have more energy or to lose weight or both? Knowing why you want to accomplish something helps keep you connected to the motivation to keep committed. When you reach for a snack, you can think about how that choice impacts your desire for positive change.
3. I believe this next step is one of the most important to help you succeed. Once you identify the resolution and understand why it is important to you, ask yourself how committing to this goal will make you feel. If your goal is to work out 3-4 times a week, how will you feel after you are done? Will it make you feel happy, energized, less stressed or perhaps all of the above? When you get up each morning you can think about those feeling states you know your resolution will bring, and use that as motivation to stay committed.
4. The final step is to put into place the things to help support your desires. For example, finding an accountability partner to check in with about goals keeps your resolutions top of mind. If you want to work out regularly, plan to go to bed early enough that you will wake up feeling awake enough to want to go. Put your workout clothes next to your bed the night before. Also, consider asking a friend or colleague to join you, as we are more likely to show up when we know someone else is counting on us.
Whatever your resolutions may be, the end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on the things in your life that make you feel grateful and to think about the areas of your life where you would like to make change. Try these tips and let me know how it works out for you. If you have been successful at seeing your resolutions through, share your strategies for success below.