Setting New Year's Resolutions that work

It’s the time of the year again. The time to set goals for the coming year. The time to make positive changes to your lifestyle. However, studies say that 80 percent of the people fail to keep their resolutions by the second month. People want an overnight change, but unless they act, nothing will change. 

Traditionally, the New Year is the best time to kickstart a new phase in our life and make changes. But as we start, it is also the time that we wonder on how to keep the resolutions that we’ve set for ourselves. Sometimes, we set goals that are too high and are unattainable so we end up not continuing them. People often say that resolutions are meant to be broken, but they don’t have to be. Let’s be reminded that resolutions are a good way to set great goals and intentions for the future. Ditching a bad habit and creating a new one will always be a good idea.

Are you one of those people who are keen to reinvent yourself in the coming year? Do you have the determination and motivation to keep you going until the end of the year? If you want to set yourself up for the best chance of success, start with these smart tips for making better resolutions you can actually stick to.

  1. Start Small. Don’t try to change everything at once. Start by picking one area of your life that you want to change. Once you are successful with the first goal, pick another area that you can work on alongside the first goal. Stick with the goals that are manageable in your lifestyle. It is always good to dream, but it is also important to be realistic with your expectations. What’s the one habit you really want to change? Start with that first.
  2. Plan Ahead. To ensure success, research and make a plan ahead so you will have the resources when you need them. When you have the general idea of what your goal is, read up on it. You can go to the library or google about the change you want to attain. Ask friends and family about their experience and what tips they can give you. With more information gathered, you would know what to expect on the journey you will be taking. 
  3. Understand why you should make a change. Think about the goal you want to change. Why do you want to change it, and what’s keeping you from changing it? Sometimes, it is hard to change because it already becomes a habit and is part of your daily life. But think about the long run. Will that habit benefit your future? So, when considering change, take time to think it through - check the cons and pros. You boost your chance of success when you know the reason for making your change.
  4. Talk about it.  Share your goals with your family and close friends. Telling them about it is like having a support group that will keep you going. You can also find a community with the same goal as you. Having someone with a shared goal makes your struggle and success less intimidating and much easier. After all, you start your resolution in the new year, when you have company and people who are trying to make a healthy change in their lifestyle.
  5. Commit yourself. According to psychologists, people who write down their goals have a higher chance of achieving them. Make yourself accountable by writing to the people you don’t want to let down. It will give you a higher motivation to keep doing what you are doing. You can also inspire yourself by posting notes on the fridge, sticking notes to your mirror or writing them in your journal. You can also reflect on your progress by reviewing your journal.
  6. Accept Failure. Do not worry if you wait, instead, be thankful for it. Each time you fail, consider it a lesson. Reflect on your actions and think of the reason why you failed. Survey says that most people fail in the first 2 months, but don’t be like those people. What matters is how you handle the situation. Make a note of what triggers this setback and vow to learn from it. One setback won’t undo all the changes that you made, continue on what you should be doing. 
  7. Reward yourself. Rewards will keep you encouraged during the hardest first days. You don’t have to wait till the end of your goal to reward yourself. It is easy to get discouraged if your focus is just on the end game. Encourage yourself by acknowledging every small step that you take. After all, that small step will take you to your finish line. You can set a reward for yourself every month, and at the end of the year, pick an anniversary reward. Something that you will be looking forward to because you earn it, and you deserve it.

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