New Year’s resolutions almost seem like a joke. We want to quit smoking, lose 20 pounds, or further out education. Sometimes, we fail to realize that once the year changes, our lives are still the same. The New Year itself doesn’t make it easier to do the things we want to do unless we make some major changes to accommodate our goals. It’s even harder for women with children who have ambitious goals, because we have a tendency to get wrapped up in caring for them. Surprisingly, it’s simpler than you may think to set yourself up for a successful resolution.
- Start Before New Years
If your goal is to get back into that dress you’ve always wanted, you’re setting yourself up for failure if you aren’t walking in to a clean slate. When New Year’s Day rolls around, you may not have things lined up for your goal, and that can cause you to postpone starting things when the holiday is over. Before New Years, buy your workout clothes. Figure out what routes you want to jog. Start buying healthy groceries. Easing yourself in beforehand makes the goal less ambitious. You’re more likely to adapt to a drastic lifestyle change on time if the ground work is already set out.
- Set Up a Support Team
If your resolution is something common, your friends probably have the same one in mind. Talking about it with your friends or coworkers and making plans ahead of time will make you more likely to follow through. If your girlfriends are on board with you, you have a system of accountability. No matter what your current level of motivation is, one of them is bound to be more motivated than you are. Taking turns being the motivator will prevent everyone from feeling burnt out.
- Know You Won’t Achieve the Impossible
If your goal is something akin to climbing Mount Everest in fifteen minutes, of course you’re going to fail. Nobody can do that – it’s impossible. Always start with a modest goal. You’ll feel your progress, and the end won’t be so far away that you lose sight of it. Think of your resolution as a way to kickstart a bigger goal. Once you achieve it, you can always set another goal to take your original idea even further. Breaking things into milestones is more rewarding than setting an impossible standard.
- Reward Yourself for Progress
Celebrating your successes will keep you looking forward. If your goal is to reduce your sugar intake, don’t deny yourself the occasional brownie. It won’t destroy your resolution – it will help you exercise self-control knowing that you aren’t entirely eliminating something. If your goal is to pay off an outstanding debt, you still need to buy something nice for yourself once in a while. As long as you’re doing at least twice as much as you’re undoing, you’re still moving forward. Total deprivation begs for failure.
- Keep Yourself Happy
When people feel sad, they regress. That’s just a fact of life. If you’re going through a hard time, you may feel tempted to give up. Working on your attitude and developing a realistic sense of things can keep you level headed. For some people, this means yoga and meditation. For others, it’s binge-watching Netflix and drinking a few extra cups of coffee. You aren’t going to accomplish anything if you don’t prioritize your happiness, and your happiness may even be more important than your resolution.
Don’t forget that although you have the whole year to accomplish your resolution, that’s not a free ticket to Procrastination City. Using all of your momentum to fly ahead will get you to the end sooner, and treating your resolution as a top priority will help you knock it off your list way before the end of the year.
As a passionate blogger currently writing for Online Courses Australia, Simone Smith enjoys sharing her stories which focus on work-life balance, self-improvement and well-being. Privately a great fan o motivational speeches and music.