The new year is the perfect time to make a resolution to improve your life. With the change in the calendars, the new year affords us a chance to wipe our slate clean and begin anew. It would be a shame to let this great opportunity pass by without taking advantage. All of us have some aspect of our life that could do with improvement — which means that all of us could benefit from a successfully carried out new year’s resolution.
Whether you want to get in better shape, be more productive at work, or even get more sleep, January 1st is the time to get started. Of course, making the resolution is the easy part. Accomplishing it is very difficult. Anyone who has tried and failed to carry out a resolution knows how true this is. With that in mind, here are four tips to help you stick to your new years resolution.
Keep your goal in mind
The reason you’ve made your resolution is that there is something you want to accomplish. Whatever you give up in pursuit of your resolution will be worth it — in the long run. The tricky part is that in the short term it can seem as if you are doing something unpleasant for no good reason at all. Your resolve will break in the face of temptation if you do not keep your eyes on the prize. Remember your goal and it will be much easier to stay the course. For example, if your resolution is to eat better, focus on how much healthier you will be if you resist junk foods.
All the planning and wishing in the world will be useless if you lack the self-control necessary to stick to your resolution. The key is to take measures to bolster your self-restraint. A great idea is to enlist a relative, spouse, or friend to periodically check in on your progress. Knowing that you are accountable to another person will be an aid to your self-control. Discipline is so important because to succeed in your resolution you will have to form new habit — for example, if your aim to spend less, you will need to learn to resist the temptation to buy things you don’t need.
Make a plan
Whatever the nature of your resolution, it will be easier to finish if you have a concrete guide to follow. This will provide structure to what are otherwise abstract hopes. A good plan will include smaller weekly or daily goals for you to focus on. It’s much easier to make progress if your work is divided into small, manageable chunks. If your resolution is something very difficult — such as losing fifty pounds, for example — you may feel overwhelmed and hopeless without smaller goals to guide you. In contrast, a good plan will be a helpful, supportive measuring stick for your efforts.
Be hopeful. If you aren’t optimistic about carrying out your resolution, you will have failed before you even start. There is a reason that the idea of new year’s resolutions are a joke to some people. These people know how often resolutions that are made with the best of intentions on January 1st are already forgotten a few weeks later. If you don’t think you can succeed (or have failed in the same goal in previous years), you are only setting yourself up for failure. Remember that your goal is within your abilities, and that if you make an honest, strong effort, you will succeed.
No one ever said making real changes in your life would be easy — nothing worth doing ever is. Nonetheless, it is possible to buck the trend and actually carry out a new year’s resolution successfully. These four tips will help you on your way. This new year, take advantage of the chance for a fresh start and make certain you succeed in your new year’s resolution.