Let’s face it: New Year’s resolutions are a pain. There’s no getting around that unmistakable fact. Changing is hard, and sometimes, we can’t help but feel discouraged by it. With New Year’s resolutions now in full swing, people are already fighting the temptation to go back on them.
So how can you avoid breaking these resolutions? Are there steps that you can take? Is there an app for that (if only my friends, if only)?
Here are a few tips to help you keep your New Year’s resolutions this year.
1. Set Realistic Goals
This seems somewhat obvious, but a lot of people often fail at keeping their resolutions simply because they are too hard. You can’t expect yourself to change overnight. While persistence and commitment are certainly necessary, make sure that the goals you set are attainable. Heck, if they’re easy, take those achievements and set some mid-year resolutions if needed.
2. Don’t Go Cold Turkey
Okay, fine, it's a goose, but you get the picture.
We all want to change overnight, and more importantly, we think that we can. Unfortunately this is not the way to go about a long-term change. For instance, if you decide that you’re going to give up junk food, going cold turkey might not be the best decision. Rather, slowly reduce your intake of junk food, substituting in other things. If you want to exercise, don’t go out and expect to run three miles right off the bat. Instead, go for a walk, then a run, and so on, until you’re where you’re at. Aim for lifestyle changes instead of just immediate fixes.
This one is related to the last one: cut yourself some slack. Allow yourself to cheat here and there. We are all human and need a break sometimes. As long as you monitor and limit these cheat instances (e.g. one night of dessert a week or an additional day off exercising), then they can help you feel less overwhelmed and stressed out. These resolutions aren’t meant to bum you out after all.
4. Change as Needed
Remember: these aren’t set in stone. While you don’t want to be wishy-washy, you also don’t want to be unreasonable. If a resolution isn’t working for you, don’t think of it as pass/fail. Change it as needed to better suit your needs and abilities. Just make sure that when you do so, you aren’t completely letting yourself off the hook either.
5. Recruit a Friend
Now we’re not saying to be that person that recruits all of Facebook to help them by posting their progress everyday (seriously don’t be that person), but bringing in some support is definitely welcome. Pick a friend or two that you know will call you out on your stuff (you know, the friend that will slap the donut right out of your mouth if you eat it in front of them). That way, you have someone that you are comfortable to turn to, and with any luck, you’ll be able to do the same thing for them if they have a tough resolution.
6. Do it for the Right Reasons!!!
This is the big one folks, and we cannot stress this enough: you are doing this to BE HAPPIER! A lot of times, people lack the motivation to keep their resolutions because they made them for the wrong reasons (often superficial ones). While there is nothing wrong with wanting to shed a few pounds or break a few bad habits, don’t do it for the sake of other people. Do it because you think that it will make you a happy, healthier person.