After all the self-indulgence, over-eating, and stress-filled holiday season, it’s time for a new year. A blank slate. A new beginning. And with that means a chance for a new you. But creating resolutions and actually succeeding at them is really, really hard. Most New Year’s resolutions don’t make it past the first month of the new year. But why? Well, with a little help and a few tips and suggestions, you can make and succeed at your New Year’s resolutions.
Creating Feasible Resolutions
The one problem with New Year’s resolutions that ultimately leads to unsuccessful attempts is that we often set really high standards and create resolutions that are just not feasible. You’ll have a better shot at being successful if you set a resolution that is doable for you.
Where we also fall short of making our resolutions is that we are often vague on what we are actually trying to achieve. Make sure that your goal is clear and concrete. A popular New Year’s resolution is to have a healthier lifestyle. But instead of just telling yourself that you want to “be healthier,” make a clear goal. What does “being healthier” mean to you? Does it mean that you will eat less processed foods or not drink any more soda? Does it mean going for walks or runs more? You have to define what it is you want to accomplish. And from there, make it even more specific. If “being healthier” means that you want to go out for runs more, then set specific guidelines. For example, tell yourself that for the next three months you want to go for a run at least twice a week.
When creating your resolutions, however, make sure that you are creating a goal that is achievable. If you tell yourself that you are going to go for a run every single day of the week, but running is new for you, perhaps this might not be as achievable right out of the gate. Instead, by setting a more reasonable goal, such as going running twice a week, you are creating a small step that will be easily achievable and will eventually work you up to possibly running every day of the week. In fact, creating smaller, more easily attainable goals will keep you motivated (since you are achieving multiple goals), and will keep you on track to reaching the bigger goal at the end of the road.
Lastly, you want to be able to measure the goal. To continue the example of taking up running to “become healthier,” then perhaps keep a log where you can document every time you go running. Or get a fitness app or wristband. By measuring your progress, you are showing yourself that you are attaining your goal, as well as the steps that you are taking to make it happen. This will ensure that you are staying on track and will keep pushing you forward.
Setting Up Your Game Plan
While we may not want to admit it, goals are really hard to accomplish. Let’s be honest — goals mean a change from what we are used to, the norm, and that can be challenging. No change is going to happen overnight, which means that we are in this for the long haul. To keep ourselves motivated and on track to accomplishing the resolution, we have to create a plan to get ourselves to the end. Ask yourself how you are going to make this goal happen. What steps are you going to take to get there? Even more importantly, if you hit a roadblock, how are you going to overcome it? Because let’s face it — no goal is without its setbacks. And there will be setbacks and hurdles and mountains. How will you get over that mountain and make sure that you keep going? You know yourself best, so you know what you need to do to pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and keep going.
And while we all want to be positive that we are going to attain our goal and that it will be mostly smooth sailing, we must remember that we need to be realistic. Sometimes life will get in the way and we will mess up or something will happen that will set us off of our path. It’s important to remember that this is all a part of the process. Failure is a part of success, and without failure, we wouldn’t rejoice and celebrate the success as much. So if you do mess up or are thrown off of your path, tell yourself that it is alright. Tell yourself that it was a learning experience and get yourself back on your path. And if another slip up happens, don’t let it stop you. Perhaps you need to readjust your goal or just buckle down more. How we react and what we do in the times of adversity are what show true character. So keep pushing forward.
What to Do When You Didn’t Attain Your Goal
Take a deep breath. It’s alright.
Great things take time, and nothing of importance can be easily done in just a short period of time. I mean, Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?
So don’t beat yourself up about it. And remember that you did not fail.
Remember that things often take multiple attempts. And the beautiful thing? Tomorrow is a brand new day. It’s alright to start fresh and try again, and this time you will have all the knowledge and experience of your past attempt and thus know exactly what you need to do to make this next attempt more successful. So give it another go! Because you can do this. Just set a new game plan, and surround yourself with good people who will cheer you on. More importantly, make sure to cheer yourself on.
So try these tips to make your New Year’s resolution and succeed at it. And remember, if at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again. Happy New Year!