Another year is coming to an end and like thousands of other people I’ve laid out my New Years resolutions. The question is will I be one the few people to achieve my resolution goals. Or will I be only one of the 8% of people who actually achieve their resolutions, according to research from the University of Scranton.
It’s common knowledge that New Year’s Resolutions are usually quite difficult to keep. Thousands of people promise themselves they will lose weight, quit smoking, save money, or achieve some other promise they’ve been making to themselves for years only to fail each time. This year I’m doing my research on the best ways to actually reach my goals and sharing it with you. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using one of these links.
Here are ten tips to help me (and you) to ensure that no matter what New Year resolutions we make this year we will have the best chance of following them through successfully.
Don’t Set Yourself Up for Failure
You have only a limited amount of willpower. So be reasonable when choosing what goals you wish to achieve but more importantly don’t overwhelm the process by choosing to many goals at once. For example trying to lose one hundred pounds in a years time is not only unreasonable but possibly unhealthy. It would be no more reachable than me trying to lose one hundred pounds, stop smoking, reading 100 books, collecting 50 pairs of shoes, and saving 10k all in this one year! I don’t know about you but I’m not super woman and there’s just no way I could even try to work on this many goals at once without finding myself in full anxiety mode fairly quickly.
Build Up Your Will Power
Write down 100 things you’re proud of, right down to the simplest things like ‘I get out of bed when I don’t want to’. It will remind you just how much willpower you really have!
What puts you in a good mood? Figure it out because lifting your spirits also helps when your willpower starts dwindling.
For me I know watching funny movies, listening to my favorite tunes, and reading while soaking in a bubble bath always raises my spirits and puts me in a better mood. But if all else fails, having the grandchildren come stay a day or two here with grandma and grandpa always reminds me why I need to fight for my goals to get in better shape, so I can live longer for me and them!
Did You Know: A glass of orange juice or lemonade can replenish your self-control. The brain relies almost exclusively on glucose for energy, so it has to be the real thing — artificially sweetened drinks won’t deliver the jolt.
Setting Achievable Goals
It’s easy to say I’m going to lose 50 pounds this year and then fail because I didn’t have a plan set in motion or my goal wasn’t actually achievable. This year I’ll be writing down, step by step, a plan to reach my goals. If your resolution is to lose weight or stop smoking or something similar be realistic by setting mini goals to reach along the way. Keep in mind you’ll only have 365 days to achieve your New Year’s resolutions, so be realistic.
Take for example a 45 year old person who sets a New Years resolution to stop smoking after 20 plus years of smoking. This type of goal can be very stressful and is never easy to achieve but with proper research, medical advice, mini goals, and a step by step plan it is achievable. Make sure for any health related New Years resolutions that you get your doctors advice. He (or she) may even be able to suggest a step by step plan for you.
I suggest you get yourself a planner and start by writing down a daily plan for each New Years resolution you wish to achieve. Be very specific by writing down how you plan to reach each one. Start early so you’ll have all your ducks in a row (i.e. supplies, memberships, a visit with your physician if necessary) before the New Year.
Schedule Time to Achieve Your Goals
I know my time is limited, so it’s sometimes hard to find the time to do things I want to do, let alone resolutions. This year I’ll be using a planner to schedule my resolutions into my daily schedule just like I would any other meeting or appointment. I’ve even set an alert on my phone that goes off 20 minutes before my workout. When I feel like skipping my workout, sometimes that alarm sounding off is enough of an to get that extra kick out needed to hit the door!
Getting yourself organized will help you to reach your goals successfully. Take advantage of APPs there are several available that can help with any resolutions. Noom not only tracks your diet, exercise, and task completion, but coaches you on weight loss. Mint will help with your personal finances by tracking spending by category and keeping you on budget.
Sharing Your New Year Resolutions
No one likes to fail! I know I don’t and I’m sure you don’t either. Be responsible for either achieving your goals or failing them by telling your family and friends your plans, be specific. If you fail the people who really love you won’t let you give up. So by letting your family and friends in on your progress your actually forming your own cheering squad.
If you need more structure in order to reach your goals consider joining a support group or a gym. Just having others to motivate you and who you can share your struggles and successes with will help you make the journey to a healthier happier lifestyle that much less intimidating.
Being Competitive & Finding Others to Join You
I am a fairly competitive person, nothing motivates me more than finding myself falling behind others with either similar or even the same goals. So do yourself a favor and join your family and friends in working together on your New Years resolutions. You can almost guarantee success if you can ALL stay highly motivated to achieve your goals!
Let’s talk about a sure fire way to raise your motivation. Find your most out spoken friend, someone who won’t let you slip by without a little ragging now and then on whether your winning or losing at your goals. Make a bet with them stating that you WILL achieve your resolution or else you will pay him or her $100. If one hundred dollars isn’t much money to you try two-hundred dollars or five hundred dollars but choose an amount that is going to certainly motivate you into NOT wanting to lose it! By choosing to make a bet with someone who is out spoken or even bordering on obnoxious and most certainly won’t let you forget it, if you LOSE the bet, you’ll be even more motivated to reach your goals.
Staying Motivated Everyday
I don’t know about you but personally, I just do not have much will power. So a huge part of achieving my New Years resolutions will have to do with staying motivated to do so. It’s quite easy to say I’m going to lose 50 pounds this year and a few weeks into the new year start skipping days, then weeks, and before I know it half or more of the year is gone and I’ve nothing to show for it. Like you, I want to achieve my resolution goals so to start, this tip (and the next) is about “Programing Yourself for Success”.
Write down your goals and post them throughout your home. Tape your goals to the bedroom and bathroom mirrors, on the front of your refrigerator, and don’t forget your car. When you spot one of your reminders take a minute to stop and read it out loud to yourself.
If your the crafty type you could get some letter stickers and write your goals on the glass of picture frames to set around the house. You could also make yourself a motivation board.
The point is to have your goals visible to you every day as a reminder that “You Can and Will” achieve your New Years resolutions.
Self Hypnosis Through Visualization
Self hypnosis is a powerful way of programming your brain to succeed. You can do this any time of the day but personally I find it easier for me to do this in the mornings or evening either after waking or before going to sleep.
When you can have five minutes alone, find a quiet place to either sit comfortably or lie down. Close your eyes and visualize yourself having already achieved your New Years resolutions:
- See yourself in detail after you’ve achieved your goals.
- What do you see?
- What do you hear?
- What are you feelings about your accomplishments.
- Are you happy?
- Are others happy for you?
Visualization like this can be an extremely useful tool in programming your brain for success by persuading your brain to believe you have already reached your goals. It’s like that old saying “Seeing is believing. Believing is seeing.”? Well it’s true because our brains are capable of transforming our body and thoughts into what it believes to be true.
Celebrate Your Victories
Both big and small victories deserve to be celebrated! Take the time to acknowledge your progress and make a point of celebrating each goal as you reach it. It is important to enjoy yourself when you have worked so hard at something so you get used to wanting to continue progressing. Just make sure the rewards you choose don’t work against your goal. Instead think of ways you can treat yourself that help make a happier, healthier you.
Asking For Help
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and unable to meet your goals, ask for help. As a parent and grandparent I have often told my kids there is no shame in asking for help. I would rather seek out help than fail. How about you?
Psychologists are trained to help you change unhealthy behaviors and address emotional issues as well as offer strategies as to how to adjust your goals so that they are attainable.
The Bottom Line
So there you have it, 10 simple tips to help you actually keep your New Year’s resolutions. This year, reaching your goals is going to be smooth sailing!