It’s hardly surprising how quickly most of us tend to break our New Year’s resolutions (some before the end of January!). Yet each year, we take the time to reflect on our aspirations and set goals to improve our lives, even though less than 12% of resolution-makers succeed.
So what’s the secret to actually seeing these goals through?
If you really want to see results this year, it’s critical that you set your goals with sincerity, and concentrate on the intention of your resolutions. Read on to discover 5 ways to create attainable resolutions—and keeping them:
1. Be specific. A common mistake people make is setting ambiguous goals like, “I’ll lose weight.” Instead, make your resolution specific, with a tangible, achievable outcome. Determine how much weight you want to lose and what diet or exercise regime you will begin. Ask yourself, why do you want to lose weight, and what will you do once you reach your goal? Remember to visualize the good that will come when your desires are met.
2. Put it in writing. Write down your goals and outline the small, manageable steps you’ll take in order to achieve them. When you set a big goal, like learning how to silversmith, it can be overwhelming and frustrating if you don’t have a plan that lays out smaller steps toward achieving the larger goal. Plan ahead and focus on accomplishing one small thing at a time to keep yourself on track and optimistic.
3. Give yourself enough time. Be sure to set aside ample time for yourself to achieve your goals. If you want to exercise more, plot out time in your weekly schedule for runs and time at the gym. Additionally, you’ll want to make time to track your progress, either with monthly measurements, heart rate monitoring, or weigh-ins.
4. Find a partner. Having someone to keep you accountable is one of the key ingredients to changing your life. Try finding a friend who has a similar resolution, and check in with each other every week to talk about your progress and challenges. Or, ask a family member or significant other to keep you accountable—just make sure they’re supportive and encouraging. You can also seek professional assistance, such as a personal trainer to help you meet your fitness goals, or a tutor to help you finally learn French.
5. Take a deep breath. When you’re stressed or overwhelmed, it’s easy to get off track from your goals. Spend time every day collecting your thoughts and getting centered. You may try a breathing exercise, a scenic stroll, or even a little yoga. Be sure to push away self-sabotaging thoughts, such as: “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do it.” The truth is, you can do it, but you have to fully channel all your intentions into achieving what you want.
What are your resolutions for 2013?