Lose a few pounds. Exercise more often. Eat healthier foods.
The above are much easier said than done. Setting a goal is one thing, but initiating and maintaining the actions to complete that goal can be something completely different.
It's that time again for New Year's resolutions. New Year's resolutions allow you to set new goals for the upcoming year and to do so with a sense of a fresh start. Often times one of the biggest challenges when it comes to approaching a resolution is taking action. When you set your New Year's resolution be sure to prepare yourself for it. Here are some of our tips on preparation:
- Have a plan. Set sub-goals or specific dates if it helps! Developing sub-goals will act as stepping stones towards reaching your main goal. Having set dates will help prevent delaying your course of action.
- Make time. With work, family, friends, and everything in between it can be a challenge to make time for your resolutions. Whether it is a portion of every day or a few days of every week, be sure to set some time aside to get a few steps closer to your resolution. Don't forget that this New Year's resolution is for YOU. Working towards your resolution is a great way to just have some "me time" and to do something beneficial and nice for yourself.
- Be motivated. Your goal should be something that you want to do, not something that you feel obligated or burdened by. Stay motivated by means of self reward and positive anticipation.
- Be determined. Stay committed to accomplishing and sticking with your goal. Having the right positive mindset will help guide you to accomplishing your resolution.
Once you have determined what your resolution will be, push yourself to take the steps towards accomplishing your goal. At the beginning of January, a resolution "I will exercise more this year" can have the potential to become "Maybe I won't start this week… but definitely next week" and so on. It is important to make time, not excuses, for your resolution to prevent your motivation from slipping away from you. So rather than delaying the start of your resolution, mark a specific day in which your resolution will spring into action. Whether it's circling a day on your calendar, setting an alarm in your cell phone, or posting a bunch of brightly colored sticky notes on your desk… don't let that specific day pass without having taken a big action step closer to accomplishing this year's goal.
Depending on your resolution, it may even help to get your friends or family involved. Is your goal to exercise more? Then go on a family walk, hike or bike ride together. Is your goal to eat healthier? Invite a friend over to try and cook a new healthy recipe with you. Get creative! If necessary, bring your resolution down a notch. Don't burn yourself out. Instead, recreate or break it down into sub-goals to adjust it to be something more realistic for your lifestyle and schedule. What's important is to not give up. Learn to manage your expectations along with your goals and you will find what works best for you to stay committed.
Whatever your New Year's resolution may be, be sure to make time to work towards it; for the sake of both maintaining your work progress as well as making time for yourself. Working regularly and actively towards your goal will maintain your determination and motivation and guide you to pushing yourself one step further each time. Each push will lead you to feel more energized and satisfied with yourself and your goal.