It’s time to check in with your New Year’s Resolutions. When was the last time you thought of them? Most resolutions fail within 1-2 months (some within 1-2 days). That’s because a resolution is simply a promise to yourself – and when was the last time you kept a promise to yourself? Here are a few tips you can use to help support you in sticking it out and successfully keeping your resolutions:
1. Instead of resolutions, set goals. Try setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. We all know about them, we all know we should do it but most of us don’t invest the time into this integral step. For those of you aren’t familiar with S.M.A.R.T. goals, they are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and involve a Timeline.
2. Map out a plan to achieve your goals. You would use a map to plan out a journey such as a road trip or a vacation to Europe. Why wouldn’t you map out your journey to success?
3. Reward yourself for achieving landmarks/mini-goals that you have set along the way (external motivation). Obviously, if your goal is fat loss you aren’t going to reward yourself with a large sundae!
4. Baby steps. Rome wasn’t built in a day. How long did it take you to get to the state you are in? If it took you 15 years to put on those 50 lbs then why do you think it will take you 2 weeks to take them off? Do you really think that you can stop being a work-aholic by just saying that you want to stop? It takes time and failure. The key is to learn from the failures instead of just giving up.
5. Find a community to support you in your endeavors. Having the support of teammates contributes to your success. You can share what works and what doesn’t work, celebrate the achievements and lament the failures together. There are a lot of community groups that are free to join: T.O.P.S. (Take off pounds sensibly), smoking cessation clinics, Meetup groups (www.meetups.com), facebook pages, etc.
So revisit your resolution without shame. Rephrase it as a SMART goal, make yourself a roadmap and reward yourself at pre-determined ‘mile-markers’ along the way. Set up your support system at the outset and be prepared to deal with failure. If it’s not working for you then perhaps it is the wrong time for that particular goal. Set it aside and work on it again when you are ready to put in some hard work. For more information on your readiness to change you can look up “Stages of Change”, “Transtheoretical Model” or “Prochaska.”