Every year, I promise myself that I will be more outgoing, more adventurous, and less anxious as time goes on and every year, I manage to forget these resolutions within a couple of days. It’s not that I don’t want to become a better person; it’s just that I have the self-control of Cookie Monster in a bakery, so I usually end up back on Netflix avoiding social interaction and complaining about life. In an attempt to conquer my bad habits, I looked up tips on how to keep your New Year’s resolutions and some of them make sense.
1) Buy a fitness application.
Fact: exercising turns me into a demon. The only way to avoid this transformation and the expensive exorcism costs is for me to join a sports-related club or disguise exercise in the form of something fun. There are plenty of iPhone applications that do this quite well. Zombies, Run! for example forces you to run for your life as the sound of approaching “zombies” come in through your headphones. Other apps like FitJourney let you track your workouts through text and pictures so that you can actually follow through with your “lose weight” declaration this year.
2) Publicly announce your resolutions.
It’s easy to ignore your promise to eat less sweets when you’re the only one who knows about it. Instead, try telling your friends or family about your 2014 plans so they can peer pressure you into keeping them if they catch you cheating.
3) Establish a routine.
If you’re not very good at keeping your promises, routines will help you put your money where your mouth is. Rather than just say you’re going to workout every day, create a schedule so that you can see that 30 minutes of miserable cardio ahead of time. That way, you definitely won’t forget it’s there (though it won’t stop you from “accidentally” skipping a day or two).
4) Keep a journal.
I’m a firm believer in the power of journals. Not only can they help you reflect on present situations, but they can also allow you to see your transformation in another way. That is to say, bodybuilders can read their old journal entries about how hard it was to do 3 pull-ups at the beginning of the year and laugh in delight at how things have changed.
5) Don’t yell at yourself for slipping.
Alright, so you caved and ate a cookie at your Valentine’s Day work function. Big deal. Don’t let it get to your head. The desire to do everything exactly right is what often causes people to fail in their resolutions because once you’ve screwed it up, there’s no point in continuing right? Wrong. Don’t make me pull out a philosophical quote about perseverance, because I will.
6) Avoid grand resolutions that aren’t specific.
Get rich. Lose weight. Live life. All of these are nebulous goals that can never fully be reached. After all, how rich is rich? How much weight is enough? What is life anyway? If you want to get things done, you need to be specific. Instead of “get rich” try “Make 100 extra dollars a month so you can afford a trip to Tahiti in the winter” or, rather than “lose weight,” vow to “lose 10 pounds a month until you fit into that fancy ball gown you’ve been eyeing.”
7) Find a partner.
I don’t mean a boyfriend or girlfriend, although that will do. I mean find someone to partake in your betterment journey. Running is always more fun if you have someone else to wheeze with.
8) Create a reward system for yourself.
Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not proposing that you establish a counterproductive reward system based on eating 20 cookies after every 2 minutes of running, as great as that sounds. However, positive reinforcement has been known to be quite effective when it comes to achieving goals. If you begin to associate 30 minute workouts or a day without one of your vices with a warm bath at the end of the day, you may be more inclined to keep at it.
9) Get artsy.
I don’t mean to suggest that you have to be an artist to successfully complete your resolutions, but it certainly helps. If you have art supplies at home, why not make a fun inspiration board to keep you going? Or, if you don’t have the time for such an endeavor, a Pinterest page can work too.
10) Make a checklist.
I’m a Type A personality, which is a psych term for “I like to make lists.” While I know not everyone finds a checklist particularly helpful for everyday tasks, they can come in handy for larger goals that need to be split up into smaller chunks. Rather than just “get rich,” you can write, “Cancel old magazine subscriptions,” “Steal coins from local water fountain,” and “Befriend Bill Gates.” That last one may be a bit more difficult to accomplish, but you get the point.
How do you keep your New Year’s Resolutions?
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