We often get twisted up into knots about New Year’s resolutions—the pressure to make them, the pressure to keep them and the way we beat ourselves up when we (sometimes inevitably) don’t succeed.
Making resolutions and sticking to them can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to set some goals for yourself and to think about a few things you’d like to achieve, and it’s possible to do all of this without failing spectacularly.
Be realistic. Aiming high isn’t a bad thing, but making goals that aren’t achievable will just set you up for disappointment. Resolutions need to be feasible given your lifestyle, financial situation and the time you have to devote to them. If, for example, you want to exercise more this year, plan to be physically active three days a week rather than all seven. Or maybe start with two days a week and move to three or four days a week once you’ve got the hang of things. If your resolution is to travel but you’re on a tight budget, think about small trips you can take that get you out of your daily routine. Trips in your own city or region can be low cost and help you see places and have experiences close by that you may never have considered before.
Get excited. This one’s really important. If you make resolutions but feel like achieving them is a lot of work, and work you don’t want to do, you may not end up doing them. Make your goals something you really want to do, and make them fun if you can. If exercise is your goal, join a sports team with friends. If reading a certain number of books is your resolution, pick authors and subjects you love and books you know you’ll devour easily.
Make a plan. Much like being realistic in your resolution-making, a key step to being successful is to have a plan for how you’re going to carry out your goals this year. You can get as detailed as you need in this plan—planning every workout you’ll do for the next month or deciding on what specific books you’ll tackle—or not all that detailed if that’s what works for you. Just as long as you have steps to follow to getting you where you want to go.
Review and re-evaluate. Take some time in your journey to see where you’re at. Are you asking too much of yourself in your resolutions? Could you step it up a notch and work harder? If you’re plan isn’t working for you, it’s okay to change it and make it more manageable.
Celebrate your achievements. Are you making inroads into your goals for the year? Are you completing one step after another? Then celebrate! Any progress you make towards your resolutions is worth a pat on the back, at the very least. Celebrate even the small achievements, because they matter. Celebrating is also a great way to enjoy the journey and not just work hard towards reaching the destination.
Do you have any other tips for finding success in resolutions? Share them below!