Tips for Keeping your New Year's Resolution
By Nathan Green
Now that Christmas has come and gone, many people shift their focus to the New Year. With the New Year come resolutions and promises of change. About 87,000 Americans will make resolutions for 2013. A new year feels like a fresh start and a great time to eliminate bad habits. However, lofty goals and high expectations often lead to disappointment and failed resolutions soon after. Why is this? Here are some tips to help you stay on track in 2013.
1) Don't Wait
Don’t wait until the last minute to decide what your resolution will be. This often leads to poor planning and minimal effort to keep your resolution. For instance, if you want to eat healthier in the New Year, you may want to dump the Christmas sweets before January 1st. Great willpower may be no match for the left over red velvet cake in your refrigerator that mom made special for you.
2) Want It
Make your resolution something you really want. Don’t just decide to lose weight because you’re tired of your wife telling you that you need to lose weight as she pokes at your love handles. Choose a resolution that you want for yourself. If losing a few pounds is something that you really want, go for it.
3) Make a Plan
Have a game plan. Your resolution should be well thought out and have the proper plan in place to execute it. If you decide you want to start exercising, go ahead and select a gym that will work for you. Make sure the location fits your schedule and list the days and times you are committed to going. If you have a smartphone there are several exercise apps designed to help you achieve your goals.
4) Baby Steps
Don’t make your resolution so difficult that you will quickly get discouraged and scrap the whole plan in early January. Take small steps to ensure you stay on track. If you want to be able to run 5 miles and you know your get tired just walking to the mailbox, start with shorts runs and build up your endurance.
5) Share your Goals
Let your closest friends and family know about your resolution. They can help provide encouragement and hold you accountable. Some of them may even have the same resolution which allows you the option of teamwork to reach your goals.
6) Track Progress
Keep track of how you are doing. If you are trying to lose weight, you may want to write down how many pounds you lose each week/month. If you are running or exercising, document how many miles you run each day/week/month to ensure you are moving forward.
7) Stay Motivated
Stay motivated each day. If you are trying to squeeze in to your favorite jeans that you haven’t been able to put on since college, lay them out as a reminder and try them on once in a while.
8) Be Honest with Yourself
Finally, don’t beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon. It’s ok to mess up. Be honest with yourself and know that you may have some missteps. The important thing is to stay strong mentally and know that you won’t give up easy. If your resolution proves to be too much, hey…there’s always next year.