Turning the calendar over is an excuse to make personal resolutions for the coming year. It is also a way to bring about certain frustration for you if the goals that you set for yourself are unreachable, unattainable, or just something you have no interest in doing. Making resolutions can be done at any time of the year, but if you have been thinking about several new ones for the coming year, here are four tips to help you not only make resolutions, but to keep them.
1. I Resolve To … Okay, you have made your resolutions. Now, step back and take a look at each one. Are they resolutions you wanted to make or resolutions others have told you to make? Make certain that each resolution is something you definitely want to keep, not a half hearted attempt at reaching a goal that you really aren’t interested in reaching. If your resolution needs to be modified, do it at once.
2. My Goals Are … Are your resolutions reasonable or are they reaching well beyond what can normally be expected? Let’s say your goal is to lose 70 pounds in the coming year. While the weight loss resolution is admirable, do you have the time to exercise regularly? Change your eating habits? Change your lifestyle? Is the 70 pound weight loss goal too much, too soon? Would it be better for you to stretch the amount you want to lose beyond one calendar year? Consider your health: both physical and mental when evaluating your goals. Keep in mind how your resolution may impact friends and family members…you may be a “bear” to live with over the next twelve months!
3. I Have Fallen and I Cannot Get Up! Do you quit at the first sign of failure? If you splurge on food, do you consider your diet and resolution to be over? If so, why? Simply start again and continue. The road to any goal is paved with pitfalls and you are bound to backslide from time to time. Best advice: Find an accountability partner who knows [and understands] your resolution and can encourage you to keep it.
4. Reward Yourself. At the end of the year, reward yourself based on how well you kept your resolution. If you hit your weight loss goals, consider going on a cruise — don’t overeat! — as a reward for good behavior. If you miss your goals, keep the cruise idea open for when you do meet your goals. In other words, some resolutions are ongoing and shouldn’t be restricted by a 365 day calendar.
Remember this: resolutions are for your benefit, not your detriment. Your attitude toward a particular resolution will help you determine whether you should make that particular resolution or not. Any resolution made which doesn’t have your enthusiastic backing will certainly become a hindrance come February or March and forgotten altogether by April. Make resolutions that matter and be the better for it!