Happy New Year! January is not only the beginning of a new year, but for many, the first month in their endeavor to conquer resolutions in the new year. Popular resolutions include: to lose weight, to exercise more frequently, to be more organized, and to quit smoking. Regardless of what “improvement” you decided to tackle, maintaining those changes for a long period of time (or even until February) can be difficult. The good news is, there are some things you can do to help yourself stay on track and accomplish your goals. Max is here with tips to rescue you from New Year Resolution defeat!
Don’t Overwhelm Yourself
Make of list of goals you want to accomplish this year. Maybe you want to lose 20 pounds, maybe you want to be a better spouse, or maybe you want to maintain a regular workout routine. Once you have a list of all of your goals- pick the one or two that are most important to you and focus on those. Sticking to one resolution is hard enough so don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to confront all of your goals at the same time.
Make a Plan
Once you have decided on which goal you want to accomplish most, make a plan on how you are going to obtain that goal. For example, if you want to hit the gym more often, your plan might include: researching facilities to find out which one has classes that will keep your interest, finding a workout buddy to keep you accountable, or to devote a specific time of day to your workout so that you can plan everything else around that time period. Breaking down your big goal into smaller actions will help you to stay on track.
Don’t keep your plan a secret
Talking about and sharing your resolutions with family, friends or co-workers offers an extra level of support. If you tell your co-worker that you want to cut sweets out of your diet, have that person hold you to it. If they see you headed towards the treats kept at the office and can remind you of your goals, you will be less likely to steer off your resolution path to success.
Keep a Journal
Keep a daily journal so you can track your progress throughout the year. Make sure to write down your goals and make a daily entry about your plan and the progress you are making to reach that goal. This journal can be used to track things like what you are eating, your workout routines, the steps you took that day to be more organized, books/articles you’ve read, etc. You can journal anything that pertains to your goal. Making a journal entry each and every day will remind you of your goals and allow you to see your progress written down.
Focus on the process and not the big goal
Goals are much easier to accomplish one step at a time. Track your progress in your journal and be proud of yourself for accomplishing the small things that will lead you to the obtainment of your big goal. Focus on how much better you feel, how much stronger you feel, or how long you’ve been able cut back on the number of cigarettes you have each day. Staying focused on the progression of how you will reach your end goal will make that larger task seem less overwhelming.
Set yourself up for success
We can’t control all of the obstacles we come across in our environments during the day, but for the ones that we can control, we must. If your goal is to lose weight, don’t keep junk food in your home, office or vehicle. If you want to be spend more time with your family, put away phones, computers and anything else distracting that might take away from your time together. If we eliminate from our controllable environments the things that tempt us to stray away from our plan and goals, we will be more likely to succeed!
Set small milestones for yourself as you continue on the path towards your goal. If you meet your workout routine goals for two months straight, buy yourself a new work out outfit. If you’ve been working hard for four straight weekends to organize your home, take the fifth weekend off. Stuck to that diet for a month? Have a slice of pizza (then get right back on track). Knowing the rewards and what you need to accomplish to earn them makes getting to your goal a little more fun.
Good luck to all of you who are embarking on a new year resolution! If you get a little off track, don’t quit! Don’t let one minor set-back keep you from accomplishing your end goal. Stick to your plan and make this year your most successful one yet!