It’s almost time to ring in the new year, and for most people, that usually means making a few resolutions. Unfortunately, resolutions tend to crumble before Valentine’s Day. Don’t fret! We’re here to help; here are five ways to make those good intentions stick.
1. Make Reasonable Resolutions
Before you do anything, put aside any delusions of grandeur and get real. You are not going to work out for an hour every single day. Or even five days a week. If you’ve never gotten up at 5am to exercise, don’t promise yourself that you’re going to do it every day starting January 1. Start small and go from there. Go after work once. Don’t promise to be back the next day. Go again a few days later. If you start out gradually and take it slow, you’ll start seeing progress a lot sooner than you think.
2. Reward Yourself
Whether your goal is to lose weight, keep the house in shape, walk the dog more often or just read a book every month, you don’t have to wait until Memorial Day weekend to feel good about your progress. If you’ve kept a promise to yourself for four weeks, go ahead and treat yourself. Eight weeks? Three months? Six whole months later and you’re still walking that dog every day? Good work! Reward yourself with a trip to the masseuse. You’ve earned it.
3. Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Now, if you haven’t quite gotten to the point of regular rewards because you’ve had setbacks, don’t put yourself down! Remember to acknowledge your setbacks but move forward and regroup. Evaluate your effort and try to identify what led to a breach in your shiny new protocol. Eliminate distractions where you can and remember you’re human, and there will be days where putting on pants will be your greatest achievement.
If you’ve had trouble sticking to your guns in the past, you might have too many guns! If your absolute, ultimate goal in 2015 is to lose weight or get back in shape, well by golly, make that your only goal. Forget about writing the great American novel, paying off every penny of debt or even traveling around the world. If you don’t have your health, you won’t enjoy any of these things as much. Whittle down that list and you might just have your most successful year yet.
5. Start Now
Why wait until January 1? If you’re committed to making a change, start now. You’ll have a great head start and be comfortable in your new routine by the time the new year rolls around. Not to mention that January 1 won’t feel like a pressure cooker. This will undoubtedly result in some early success, which may just result in big time success by this time next year. Good luck!