10 Ways to Keep Your New Year Resolutions
By Ana Lefebvre
The New Year is a great symbol of starting something new or pressing restart to something you are determined to re-do. It’s like the big “Monday” of the year. Most New Year Resolutions are actually great goals, i.e. “Get Healthier”, “Stop Smoking”, “Start a new hobby”…So why wouldn’t you want to do them?
According to U.S. News, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February. Why? Because most resolutions are made unpractically and without an execution plan.
Here are 10 ways to keep your New Year Resolutions to Yourself
1. Keep it practical
Don’t set goals that are impossible to achieve. For instance, “I’m going to lose 15 lbs by February.” This is not a practical goal. Not because of the weight and time frame, but because of the fact that you are trying to lose something that you many have no idea how to track. How do you know if you are losing fat vs. gaining muscle vs. what is water weight?
What is a more practical goal: “I am going to workout three days a week for 1 hour and bring my heart rate up to my Target Heart Rate.” Now this is something that you can track.
Unless you are a trainer, have a trainer or nutritionist, know how to measure your BMI, there is no way for you to scientifically and accurately tell if you are losing Body Fat.
Be practical when writing your goals (practical and optimistic are NOT the same thing).
2. Set ways to get there
Don’t just write a goal and leave it there. Write how you are going to accomplish your New Year Resolution.
I am going to read 30 minutes a day. Well how are you going to do that? – “Instead of watching a TV show before bed, I am going to read” or “I am going to wake up 30 minutes earlier to read” or “I am going to read during lunch.”
3. Check-in with yourself
After you start committing to your goal, look for ways to enhance or improve it.
Maybe you noticed that reading before bed is not the best time, because you are too tired. Maybe you realized that you like this one workout class or gym better than another one. Look for ways to enhance. Do not stay stagnant.
4. Give Yourself Motivation
Motivate yourself! If you you go to the gym 3 times a week, treat yourself to new workout pants or start saving towards something you truly want.
As children, most of our parents would reward us for our accomplishments. For instance, if you received straight A’s you might have received a toy that you really wanted. This was built into our socialization process, making this cause and effect action still valid.
5. Make sure you are doing it for you
Make sure your New Year Resolution is for you and not for someone else. Now your goal can start from somewhere, like a your spouse asking you to do something, but you still have to find the core of why you want to do it…these are double edged resolutions.
Here are some examples of double edged resolutions:
-You are reading a book because you want to be apart of a book club; so, you can spend more time with your friends.
-You want to get healthier because you want to be around longer for your family.
-You want to save more money; so you can go on that trip.
6. Be open about what you are doing
We all need a support system. Be open about what you are doing and if someone is judgemental that is their issue.
Now you don’t have to do the above, but one thing I have learned, there will usually be a naysayer or two, but be honest. Explaining it to them, will help you keep yourself on track.
“The last office I worked in, people would judge me because I would bring in my own food prep. They took what I looked like and what I was eating and automatically made their own assumptions about me. One day someone had made a joke about my size and my food. I told the woman why I was eating healthy -because of my uncle’s battle with colon cancer, because of my grandmothers battles with breast and ovarian cancer…and she never bothered (picked on) me again.”- Ana
7. Be your own biggest cheerleader
If you are doing your Resolution..be proud of yourself! Give yourself a pat on the back. Not in a narcissistic way, but in a motivational way. Tell yourself how proud you are of YOU!
It all starts with you.
8. Motivate yourself
Investigate the why of your New Year Resolution. – I want to start dressing nicer. Why? Because I forgot how much I enjoy fashion.
I want to start working out 3 times a week. Why? To improve my health so I can run around with my kids and also teach them a healthy lifestyle.
I want to read 30 minutes a day. Why? I want to keep learning.
9. Don’t give up
There may be days where you would rather watch a movie and not read, eat saturated fats, or splurge on that jacket, but don’t give up! Go to that why and find your reason to keep going because….
10. Don’t lie to yourself
Never lie to yourself. Never break promises to yourself. How does it feel when you lie to your significant other or family member? Not to good right? Well lying to yourself doesn’t feel very good either, but some people are so used to doing so that they are hardened to this feeling. When you lie to yourself you are disrespecting yourself just as you would if you lied to someone else.
If you find that you have fallen off the track, it is never too late to press the restart button. You don’t have to wait for New Year or a Monday (or Sunday) to start a goal. You can start right now, in this very moment. *Set yourself up for success, by reassessing how to achieve your resolution.