Let me start off by saying happy New Year to you and your family! Hard to believe it is that time of the year again when you sit down to evaluate the year and what you accomplished. Then there is the task of sitting down and working on your goals for the upcoming year, resolutions if you will, and figuring what things you want to keep doing this year versus what new things you hope to add to your list. It can be intimidating for anyone to sit down and write down all your wishes for the year, I know I always find it a bit hard. Many friends, clients and co-workers have told me about their resolutions and while they are excited to get going, they are also fearful that they will not accomplish all of these goals by the next year. This is a fear I would say everyone has about making resolutions, can I do them all by the end of the year and if I don’t, will I be ok with that?
So how do you make New Year’s resolutions stick? How can you make sure that you keep on the path to accomplish everything you hope to that year? Below is a list compiled by professors and researchers of what you can do to have a better chance of sticking to your goals and working through them all by the time the next year rolls around.
Make new, healthy habits – While we may not know we do certain things, it may be because these things have become natural ‘habits’ in our daily routines. Habits form by behavior change, replacing certain behaviors with new ones. To embrace making certain changes to your daily routine, for example, if you want to go to the gym in the morning before work three days a week, the first step is to be aware of when you wake up everyday and start training your body and brain to rise earlier.
Repetition – It is never easy to start a new habit so that is why it is imperative that you continue to do it on a daily/weekly basis. This will train your head and body to know ok, it’s time to get up today, let’s get to the gym. It may take a little while to teach yourself to do this so make sure to be patient! A great book I recommend for this is The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
Have an accountability partner – We all know we are our worst critics and so that’s why sometimes it is important to have someone else help you along the way. An accountability partner is a great way to have someone who in a loving and caring way, helps push you when you need that extra push, or kind reminder when you are having your doubtful days.
Know relapsing is part of the process – Anyone knows that whenever you try to make changes to your life there will always be a few relapse periods. The point is to not get down on yourself when this happens, understand this is all part of the growing and learning process, embrace it, and try to do better the next time.
Be kind to yourself – Like I said before, we are our worst critics and I know I am harshest on myself when I don’t get things done. But you have to be kind to yourself in this process, use the same approach you would with a child or someone you cared about deeply rather than with judgment or self-criticism.
Good luck as you start your goals and resolutions here in 2017, remember, be kind to yourself, make good habits and this will be one amazing year for you!