This time of year most people reflect on the past year and make resolutions or goals to make the new year even better. A lot of times, those new resolutions only last a few days or weeks, and they are thrown by the wayside by the beginning of February.
This year, let's set our goals and stick to them! Follow these tips to help you be the best you can be.
1. Be Realistic
Making a realistic resolution is one way to ensure you will keep it. Setting an unattainable goal is just setting yourself up for failure. Think about what you are willing to do and what you are capable of doing.
2. Make a Plan
Thinking about your goals before New Year's Eve is a good way to get started. If you want to eat healthier and all you have in your house after your New Year's party is junk, you are setting yourself up to fail. Make a plan to get needed supplies or support that you can use to accomplish your goals.
3. Make One Change at a Time
It's hard for most people to keep one resolution for more than a few days. Don't set yourself up for failure by vowing to change everything on a list. Focus on one change at a time, and stick to it. Your resolutions don't "have" to start on January 1. Take control of one habit, and then move on to another.
4. Make Small Changes
It's hard to quit bad habits cold turkey. Focus on small changes instead of one big goal. For example, if you want to lose ten pounds, make a change to use the stairs instead of the elevator at work. Then switch to water at lunch instead of soda. The little changes will add up and help you accomplish your bigger goal of losing weight.
5. Write Out Your Goals
Writing out your goals makes more of an impact than just thinking about them. It requires and extra step, and will likely help you keep your eyes on the prize for a little longer. You can even go the extra mile and tell someone else about your goals so they can help you along the way. Having a support group will add encouragement and motivation.
6. Reward Yourself
Setting up little rewards for meeting your goals or steps along the way will help you stay motivated. That doesn't mean eating an entire box of chocolate if your goal is to lose ten pounds! Think of a reward that helps you stay within reason and feel motivated to keep moving toward the prize.
7. Don't Give Up
Often, making changes involves setbacks. Don't give up on your goal. If you mess up and stray from your plan, think about the reasons you want to change. Get back on track and make it happen. Think about how you can avoid temptation in the future, and avoid it. Yes, sometimes our goals are hard to accomplish, but if you give up you will never accomplish them.