Happy New Year! 2016 is here, and you’re probably excited for a fresh start and to tackle your New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, if you’re like most people, your resolutions will slip away and be forgotten a few months into the year. How do you defy the odds and stick with your resolutions? You’ll be able to reach your goals with these easy tips!
Set a realistic goal.
You know yourself better than anyone. If your goal is unattainable, you’ll only feel disappointed when you don’t stick to it or can’t reach it. For example, instead of making a resolution to never eat junk food again, make a resolution to eat less of it than you do now and continue making greater strides toward a healthy lifestyle.
Pick one and only one.
Trying to accomplish multiple goals can be overwhelming. A study by the Journal of Consumer Research found that writing and executing a plan to reach a goal worked well for people when they focused on a single goal. So when you’re ready to make a resolution for 2016, make a list of all the possible goals you would like to achieve and then pick a single realistic goal. This will allow you to dedicate your energy to that one goal and make it happen!
Write it down.
Writing down what you want to accomplish will help you commit to achieving your goal. You can write your resolution on a post-it note and stick it to your bathroom mirror or fridge or even set it as a daily reminder on your phone. Whatever you do, make sure it’s a visible goal you can see and review on a daily basis to remind yourself what you’re working to reach!
Talk about it.
Tell your family, friends, and coworkers! Verbalizing your goal is another great way to commit to accomplishing that goal. You can even take it a step further and find a buddy with the same resolution to keep you both motivated. Send each other daily or weekly motivational phrases, reminders, and progress reports. A common New Year’s resolution is to get in shape, so find a friend who has the same goal and enroll in a local workout class or make dates to hit the gym or go for a run. Telling others about your resolution or having a friend doing it with you will help keep you accountable for reaching your goal.
Track your progress.
Make a plan and set a timeline for how and when you want to reach your resolution. Keep track of what you’re doing, even if you don’t accomplish anything or have a minor setback on your timeline. This strategy will help you make short-term goals, which are easier to reach, and achieving those smaller goals will keep you motivated to reach your long-term goal. For each small step you make on your journey to success, you’re that much closer to your end goal.
Acknowledge your progress! As you make steps toward reaching your end goal, reward yourself for the short-term goals you’ve accomplished along the way. Treat yourself to something you enjoy that doesn’t contradict your resolution. For example, don’t ruin your diet or take too many days off of your workout plan if your resolution is to shed a few pounds. Instead, reward yourself with new athletic gear or a fun night out. Rewarding yourself will motivate and excite you, especially when times get tough and you want to quit.
With these tips, you’ll be ready and prepared to ring in the New Year with a resolution you know you can keep! If your goal is health-related, your Lafayette Family YMCA is happy to help and would love to be part of your journey.
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