5 Ways to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolution
It’s the last week of 2021 and it’s time to evaluate how your New Year’s Resolution is holding together for the month of January. Good news – if you’ve been active in your resolution this far, you’re in good shape for making it stick. Feeling not so confident you can keep up the hard work? Here are 5 ways to help you reach your New Year’s Resolution goals.
#1. Start with the smaller picture – gradually move to the bigger one
What is absolutely paramount to remember when setting and sticking to your New Year’s Resolution is the attainability. If you have a large goal – make sure you have specific time frames laid out with all the smaller steps it will take to get you there. For example, if you want to lose 25lbs, instead of focusing on the big number and getting frustrated with the time it takes to get there, maybe set a smaller goal of losing 2lbs a week. Most importantly, if you have a weight-related resolution, remember that everyone’s body functions differently and there are TONS of non-scale victories that will accompany this resolution. Track your weights and measure yourself once a month, this will help you see your true growth in your weight loss journey and help keep you motivated.
#2. Find Your Tribe
Support and accountability groups are so important when you’re trying to change a habit, lifestyle, or chase after a goal. Finding like-minded people that are jumping the same hurdles and are having similar life experiences is a great way to stick to your goal. There are so many ways to connect to or “find your tribe”. One way to connect is to search for groups on your go-to social media platform (ex. Facebook or Reddit). If you’re not into social media, see if there are any support groups in your area that are currently meeting virtually. Lastly, if you feel comfortable enough, you can even openly post about your journey and see if any of your friends or family are maybe chasing after the same goals. Finding a friend or friends that want the same things you do, will help you remain accountable to yourself.
#3. Reward Yourself
You’re working hard at a goal you set for yourself, acknowledge that! Find a way to reward yourself that doesn’t contradict your current resolution. (Ex. Your 2021 resolution was to learn a new skill that slightly intimidated you. Don’t pour ALL of your free time into perfecting this new skill. You don’t want to start interpreting your resolution as a chore. Balance your resolution by rewarding yourself with set aside time to indulge in a skill you’re already good at and enjoy. This will remind you that in time, you truly can become good at something and help to refresh your opinion of your resolution and its attainability.)
#4. Plan for Obstacles
Every day will not be easy. Acknowledge that now, and plan for those days. This will help you mentally prepare for the off-days and have a plan in place for when you do unfortunately encounter them. Maybe you were setting aside money every week to pay off some credit card debt, but then you have car trouble. Don’t let this derail your goals. Try to look at this unfortunate situation in a positive light. Ex. If you weren’t working towards that goal, you wouldn’t have even had that money set aside! Start your backup plan: add an extra ten dollars a week to the money you set aside (if possible) and by the end of the year you may even completely make up for the money you lost in the beginning.
#5 Forgive Yourself
Be nice to yourself! Don’t throw in the towel just because you had a bad day or hey maybe it was even a bad week. Maybe life got in the way this time. It is okay. It happens, and it is normal. A good rule of thumb for keeping yourself inspired is to ask yourself if you would say the negative things you are saying to yourself – to a friend. If the answer is no, then you know to be kinder to yourself. This is a small step in creating a positive mindset while chasing your goals. It’s incredibly easy to become discouraged while trying to form a new habit. Remember you made this resolution for yourself for a REASON and you deserve the outcome.
Remember: when you feel like you’re losing your grip on your resolution, review these 5 tips. Research says it takes exactly 66 days to form an automatic habit (Lally, et all., 2009) . Keep fighting for those dreams! They’re yours as long as you want them and you’re willing to work for them.