It’s a New Year – Whoo-hoo! It’s as if we’ve just hit the reset button on our lives and we’re about to transform ourselves into the perfect version of insert your name here. A version that works out every single day, cuts out all sugar, no longer has any debt, and loses 5 pounds each month of the year. Sound familiar?
I know, it’s tempting to make grand New Year’s Resolutions that are completely life-changing. But, let’s not set ourselves up for failure here! Not to say that everyone fails at these – I’m sure some superhumans walk among us. But let’s face it, come February or March, we’re likely feeling pretty crappy about ourselves because we’ve been unable to keep up with these unrealistic, and overwhelmingly demanding, resolutions we’ve made.
Having said all that, I actually really like making New Year’s resolutions. It feels great to establish goals for myself, work towards them, learn from the challenges I face, and celebrate my successes.
Having goals, hopes, and dreams for ourselves is a beautiful part of life, and is important to our personal growth and sense of fulfillment.
But, how do we make resolutions that last and leave a positive impact on our well-being? Glad you asked! Here are some tips for making New Year’s resolutions last – ones that you can stick to, feel good about, and that won’t set you up for failure.
# 1 – Be realistic
A realistic resolution will look different to each of us. If I’m a superstar athlete in perfect shape (I wish!), then a resolution about maintaining a rigorous exercise routine may be a realistic one. But, if I’m a single mom, working two jobs, with barely enough time to take a nap, then well, not so much. Think about what is feasible with your lifestyle, then set resolutions that are realistic to you.
And, I don’t mean “easy” when I say “realistic” either. A resolution that pushes you outside your comfort zone, even just a little bit, is crucial to your growth and totally boosts your confidence once you’ve made it.
# 2 – Be specific
If your resolution is to get out of debt completely, then specify ways with which you will get there. For instance, one resolution could be to meet with a financial advisor; another one could be to set up a savings account. Being specific with your resolutions makes them easier to achieve because you’ve created a concrete way to measure their achievement.
Meeting with that financial advisor, for instance, is a realistic goal that you can succeed at and feel great about when adding it to your list of accomplishments. Whereas, a vague resolution to get out of debt is harder to measure and will lead to feelings of insecurity or failure.
# 3 – Stick with small goals instead of one big one
Like I’ve mentioned above, breaking down a large goal (i.e. getting out of debt), into smaller ways, makes them more achievable. You’ll still be able to work towards your end goal of getting out of debt, but in ways that you can measure and succeed at.
It’s a lot more realistic to work on each small goal at a time, complete them, feel awesome about yourself for it, then move on to the next. Doing this also helps you keep track of your progress along the way, which is a great way of staying motivated.
# 4 – Write your goals down
As simple as this sounds, writing something down just makes it stick better. A written resolution becomes real – it’s as if you’ve created an official contract with yourself on paper. And, you tend to be more productive and accountable when it’s written down – it will feel like your responsibility to work on that goal and fulfill the promise you’ve made to yourself.
# 5 – Reflect, jot down progress, and tweak as you go
Regularly checking in with yourself, and figuring out how far you’ve come with your resolutions, helps you stay motivated to achieve them or realize that it may be time to alter them a bit.
For instance, let’s say my resolution was to go to the gym seven days a week. February has now arrived, and after I’ve reflected on my progress for January, I’ve realized that I’ve only been able to visit four days a week. Despite all my efforts, my demanding work and family life have made it impossible for me to follow through.
This scenario calls for a little tweaking of my gym resolution. Why? Because four days is still way better than my non-existent trips to the gym the year prior. And seven days, it turns out, is entirely unrealistic for my lifestyle.
Guess what! Any progress is better than no progress.
Feeling good about the progress you have made, even the kind that can initially seem insignificant is essential to keeping you in an optimistic state of mind, and on the right track towards success.
Writing down your progress also serves as something to look back on with pride at the end of the year, and who doesn’t want to feel like an empowered boss lady who totally kicked butt that year!
# 6 – Hit a roadblock? Try a little tenderness
Life is messy. We’re bound to hit a few roadblocks along the way. Let’s face it, there are going be times throughout the year when you’ve gone off track of your resolution. And, let me be very clear about how I feel about this:
IT’S PERFECTLY NORMAL AND ABSOLUTELY ACCEPTABLE!!
When you fall off track, just get back up and try again. It’s all about the recovery, folks!
No one said resolutions were supposed to be achieved perfectly. You’re human. You’ll get there. Be patient with yourself and learn to love you and all you’ve done up until this point.
Learning to appreciate small progress is key to maintaining and accomplishing your New Year’s resolutions.
It’s about the journey, not just the destination – often the journey is the most impactful part of our lives. It’s important not to be too hard on yourself if you hadn’t made it to the finish line just yet, but rather try to recognize each step that has taken you there thus far.
Just remember to keep your resolutions realistic, specific and to write them down; reflect, jot down progress and tweak as you go; and be patient and kind to yourself when you’ve hit a bump in the road, and you’ll be setting yourself up for success. Wishing you the happiest & healthiest New Year, my friends!
What are some ways you make New Year’s Resolutions last? Let me know below!
As always, thanks so much for stopping by <3