8 Tips to Help You Stick to Your Resolutions

201501-New-Year-Resolution1

I love setting goals and making New Year’s resolutions. The excitement of thinking of all the possibilities. The fun of planning how to do it. Envisioning how great the end result will be.

Then reality sets in. You get through the first bit of accomplishing your goal. It takes time and effort. The excitement wears off. Actually doing it turns out to be harder than just dreaming about it.

So how can we stick with our goals? Here are 8 tips to help.

1. Don’t wait for a magical date—like January 1st, or Monday, or your birthday. Don’t even wait until the next day. If you want it bad enough, start right now. Even if you ate cake 10 minutes ago, you can start eating healthy now.

2. Write them down. There is research that says writing down and seeing your goals everyday helps you actually achieve them. So put them where you will see them daily. I put mine on my mirror, fridge, computer, and car. Keep them short—one word even—so you can internalize them more easily.

3. Set up a reward system. A friend of mind puts money into a jar every time she works out. When she reaches a certain dollar amount, then she buys a new outfit or shoes. It’s a great motivator for her! What reward would motivate you?

4. Don’t try to do too much at once. When we try to change EVERYTHING then usually we end up giving up and changing nothing. So pick one or two goals to start with. Make small tweaks to practice and get better at this new thing. Maybe you want to work out for an hour every day—if you don’t work out at all right now, that’s a big shift. Perhaps commit to 30 minutes three times a week for 3 months, then reevaluate.

5. Get a buddy or hire an expert. Be around others who are on the same page as you and can keep you excited. Perhaps a friend has similar goals and you two could team up. Or perhaps you could hire a personal trainer and set up sessions to keep you accountable. You could also consider joining a Facebook group to feel motivation from a group of like-minded people. I have an awesome Facebook group for fitness. Contact me for more info.

6. Journal/photograph your progress. Sometimes it’s hard to keep at a goal when we don’t see progress. So it’s important to track changes you do have. Take photos, journal how you feel, and track what you can.

7. Develop your motivating factors and a deadline. Why do you want to accomplish a particular resolution? Is it for you, or is it to be an example to your kids? Also, a deadline is very motivating. A class reunion, a sunny vacation, or some other even is a great deadline. Keep all of these in mind whenever you feel like quitting.

8. Don’t quit, even if you fail for a while. Just start over again. Most successful people have periods of failure. The difference is, they didn’t quit for good. They restarted and didn’t give up. Stick with it, and soon you’ll see the change you desire.