It’s the same story every year: you whip up a list of New Year’s resolutions, swear that this time you’re going to stick to it (really!), and last just under a month before giving up (until next year, that is). Well, fear no more! Part of the secret lies in how you set your resolutions – and we’re here to help!
Step 1: Get Specific
For example: “In 2012, I am going to exercise more,” though admirable, is incredibly vague and, therefore, hard to stick to. Very broad resolutions are difficult to keep because they are hard to measure. How much is “more” exactly? If your goal is immeasurable, you will have a difficult time noting your progress.
“Before” Resolution: I am going to exercise more.
“After” Resolution: I am going to do cardio twice a week and lift weights once a week.
Step 2: Be Realistic
According to the online Goal Setting Guide, setting realistic resolutions helps to avoid the frustration and lowered self-esteem that accompany falling short of a goal. New Year’s resolutions should be part of a step-by-step process that is meant for self-improvement. Be ambitious without going over-the-top.
Before Resolution: I am going to exercise every single day.
After Resolution: I am going to exercise 3-4 days a week.
Step 3: Find a Cheerleader
Sometimes when we lose motivation for ourselves, all we need is a pick-me-up from someone else to get us going again. Find someone reliable and positive, whether it be your mom or a good friend, and ask them to keep you motivated if you start to lose your drive. They’ll most likely be happy to help and you’ll be happy for their help!
Step 4: Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate.
Determine a timeline to check-in on your progress. Vow to evaluate how well you are doing every 3 months, or every month if necessary and don’t hesitate to tweak it if you have to. Struggling with a part of your resolution? See if there is a way to alter it a bit without losing sight of your goal. Feel like you’re ready to take on more? Add a little extra and work towards that!
Before Resolution: I am going to do cardio twice a week and lift weights once a week.
After Resolution: After 3 months, I’d like to add more to my exercise routine. I am going to do cardio three times a week and lift weights once a week.
You’re all set and ready to take on the New Year! With these guidelines, you’ll be keeping your resolutions straight through to 2013. Have any questions, suggestions, or other helpful advice? Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with us below!