For many of us, making a New Year’s resolution on December 31st is a tradition; we all desire to live better lives and what better way to achieve this than making lasting changes to how we live. However, studies show that most resolutions (nearly 80% of them!) are forgotten by the time Valentine’s Day comes in February. On the bright side, this means that almost 20% people are able to stick to their resolutions. So how do you make a smart New Year’s resolution which you are able to stick to? Are there any easy ways? Let’s find out!
1. SMART resolution and DUMB resolution
The number one reason why people fail when it comes to making New Year’s resolution is because they make DUMB ones. These dumb resolutions do nothing more than overwhelm the resolver as a result of which one is unable to stick to them. Here are some examples:
- I am going to lose 100 lbs in the coming year!
- By the end of 2017, I will have learnt Spanish fluently
- I will successfully clear all my debt by June 2017
The reason why the above statements are DUMB resolutions is because they are short on specifics. They do not talk about action like whether you will sign up for a weight loss program or join a Spanish language class or at least connect with other people who speak Spanish etc. In the third example too, the main question is HOW? How are you going to dig yourself out of debt without digging yourself into another hole?
2. Create a realistic plan
This is where a SMART resolution is different than a DUMB one. A realistic resolution is geared towards achievement. It depends on setting smaller, realistic and achievable goals so that once you have accomplished the smaller ones, you can move on to the slightly bigger ones. A realistic resolution is based on taking one step at a time but always a step forward. Based on this, here are SMART resolutions to counter the above:
- I am going to lose 5 lbs at a time by eating fewer carbs in each meal. My first goal is to lose a dress size. This is certainly a realistic and achievable goal.
- My plan is to take one class in Spanish and, if needed, enlist the help of a buddy or/and buy tapes for learning the language.
- I will clear off one debt at time starting with clearing one credit card. I will work harder, take up extra job and aim to save some money by curbing expenses.
3. Take baby steps
Baby steps guarantee success. When you make smaller, attainable goals, you feel more confident as you achieve each one. This keeps you moving towards your greater objective.
4. Have a plan in place
After you have made your New Year’s resolution, keep a plan in place to help you decide your course of action. Research your options, get online, or seek help of a trainer or friends. The initial steps are often the hardest. So, enlisting help of a buddy is crucial at this point. When you have a friend with you, you will be less tempted to skip a workout.
5. Record your progress
Keep a journal or join a support group. This is especially the case for people looking to lose weight –which is the most common of all New Year’s resolutions. At this maintenance stage keeping a journal or having someone to help you will keep you accountable and moving forward to your goal.
6. Reward yourself from time to time
Motivation in the form of rewards will help you stick to your goal. You need not make food as a reward-instead treat yourself to something nice such as a pampering massage or a manicure etc.
7. Take a break
Once you have achieved your first, smaller goal, take a break. We all need a breather from time to time and taking a break to enjoy your success is the right way to go.
8. Set a new goal
After you have taken a break, set a goal that is entirely different from the previous goal. For example, quit drinking or smoking or give up on red meat or sugar completely. This is indirectly related to weight loss and is a win-win situation where your goal is achieving overall health and wellbeing. You can also set a goal similar to the first one especially in case of physical goals.
Try these 8 easy ways to make New Year’s Resolution and see the difference it makes in your goals.