Resolutions shouldn’t just be something you make on New Year’s Day and then forget about – these should be strict rules that you can use to make your life better on a day to day basis, and that alter the way you live and help you to get more out of life. Once you’ve made them you need to stick with them if you want them to be of any use, and better yet you should be able to make more to build on the successes you’ve had.
For many of us though resolutions are a once-a-year thing that sadly fall by the wayside as soon as real life sets in. A great resolution for many of us would be ‘learn to stick to your resolutions’. With that in mind then, let’s look at some ways you can be more likely to find success in sticking at them and so actually get to enjoy the results for a change (as well as the smug satisfaction of simply knowing you did it).
The problem that many people have with their resolutions is that they think making them is enough to mean they’ll happen. For instance if someone wants to lose weight then they’ll think they’re on track just by stating that their resolution is to get in shape. Of course though they already knew they wanted to improve their physique and it hadn’t happened before, so it’s folly to think that without changing anything else they’re suddenly going to manage it this time. Rather then you need to think about why you might have failed to get into shape previously, and what you are going to do to make it more successful this time – that might mean coming up with a better routine, joining a nearer gym or clearing up your schedule so you have more time for training. Don’t just think about the what – think about the how and the why.
Write Them Down
You might be surprised what an incredible difference simply writing your ideas down can make. As soon as you do this you will have externalised your ideas and made them much more ‘real’ which puts you directly on track to accomplishing them. As soon as you write something down you start taking it more seriously, and life starts moving out of the way to make things happen. Meanwhile writing down your resolutions can also simply help you to avoid forgetting them which is actually a common reason that we don’t accomplish our intended aims. Write them down then pin them up somewhere as a constant reminder.
When you make your new year’s resolution there’s no point in being too ambitious or coming up with ideas that you’re never going to manage. Don’t for instance make it your resolution to earn a million dollars next year, or to train for two hours a day. Start small and that way you’ll start to feel a sense of accomplishment which will spur you on to achieve more. At the same time you should always avoid making too many resolutions as they will end up competing for your time and attention.
If you are struggling to accomplish your ambitions on your own, then getting others involved is often a great way to make sticking to resolutions easier. This could mean just getting some of your friends to make the same resolutions so that you can go to the gym together/avoid cake together which will give you a sense of camaraderie and get you through the low moments, or it could mean getting actual help from a class, doctor or other professional – even a counsellor. Take this seriously and take whatever steps necessary to give you the best chance of success.
While not quite as effective as getting people to actually join in with you, simply telling others about your intended changes can help to spur you on to greatness. This way you will know that there’s someone watching your movements and that if you fail – there will be repercussions as others find out and tease you for it etc. Talking about it will also again make your goals more ‘real’ while at the same time you might be able to get some pointers or tips from people who have tried something similar. If nothing else, letting others know what you’re doing means they won’t question you when you turn down that beer/cake.
Phrase Them Correctly
Semantics is everything when it comes to phrasing your resolutions and it’s important to ensure that you get this right when you create your resolutions. For instance, if you intend to lose weight then you should avoid making a resolution to ‘lose X amount of weight in X amount of time’. Doing this is too vague and involves too many factors outside of your control meaning there’s a very real chance you’ll get to the date and find you’ve failed – which is very disheartening. At the same time it makes it all too easy to let yourself snack on sweets because you think you can ‘make it up later’ with a workout or a healthier diet. Instead then make the resolution to work out three times a week for at least an hour and eschew any and all puddings; that way you have a very rigid structure to follow with no excuses and you’ll find that the weight loss just kind of ‘happens’ once you’ve made that decision.
A resolution is different from a goal then as you can see, and remembering that is key to following it through.