Tips For Making New Year’s Resolutions You Can Commit To

Each New Year’s Eve, many of us make resolutions for the year ahead.  If you look inside of any gym at the beginning of January there will be people wall to wall, and in the weeks that follow the numbers dwindle.  While we all have the best intentions, this trend happens year after year due to people making unattainable goals.  Resolving to attend the gym every day when you’ve been inactive for a year is not realistic.  If you’re looking to stick with your goals for the year ahead, the tips below will help make your resolutions last.

To start, think of a word that has meaning to you and form a specific resolution based on that word.  Some examples are:

  • love
  • peace
  • joy
  • patience
  • kindness
  • empathy
  • self control
  • persistence

For example, you may resolve to do something kind for yourself or others every day, be mindful and practice meditating, cut back on eating so much sugar, clear clutter from your life, call your parents more often, save more money, or get up an hour earlier in the morning.

Set smaller goals- If you have a larger goal in mind, create smaller stepping stones to get there.  Make sure to use S.M.A.R.T goals and to choose something you’re inspired by so you are more motivated to follow through.  If your ultimate goal is too ambitious, start with smaller steps or goals that you can work up to.  This will help with feeling overwhelmed, and encourage you along the way as you meet your mini goals.  Once you hit a small milestone, reward yourself!  It can be a night at the movies, some peaceful time alone, or something like a massage.  Remember not to sabotage yourself!  If your goal is weight loss for example, try to reward yourself with something other than junk food.  Keep it positive and productive.

Keep a journal- Writing down your resolutions, and/or making a plan on how to reach them will help you to commit to the task.  Keep them in a spot where you will see them.  Some people like to write post-it notes of the resolutions or inspirational quotes to stick on a mirror/another place you will see daily.  These reminders will aid in keeping you on track, and will help you to consider different ways you can achieve your goals.

Make an inspiration/vision board- If you are unfamiliar with this idea it can be not only motivating, but inspiring.  Get a bulletin board, bristol board, picture frame, or something similar, and look for images to support your resolution.  If you want to save money to travel, include pictures of your dream vacation.  f you want to call home more, include a snapshot of your parents.  If you’re improving your eating habits, it may help to have pictures of fit men and women, or a picture of who you want to be healthy for, like your husband, children or pets.*  You can add pictures of yourself in happy times or places, inspirational words or phrases, and other visual aids that will lift your spirits and keep you motivated.  Get creative, and remember that you can always add or adjust it throughout the year.

*Make sure to be realistic- find someone who has a similar build, but is physically fit and healthy.  

Be kind to yourself!- If you fall off track, try not to beat yourself up over it.  Whether you’ve had a bad day, week or month, you can always start again.  If you have been struggling with your resolution, revise it into a smaller goal and try working toward that instead.  We tend to be the hardest on ourselves.  Pay attention to your inner and outer dialogue, and stay as positive as you can, even when you feel like you could have done better.

“The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.”-Unknown