Regardless of your resolutions, having them float around for 365 days won’t make them easy to achieve. Putting a deadline, or lifeline depending on how you look at things, on your plans helps to create a calendar that makes sense. Short term goals are always easier to comprehend than long ones because, let’s face it, the future can be far away. As is the nature of a New Year’s resolution, chances are you want to have whatever it is your resolving to do completed within the year. Specify a month or, if you’re able, a day of the month that you want to smell the sweet aroma of success. “I want to learn French,” is a far less promising New Year’s resolution than “I will complete level 1 of my French Rosetta Stone by March 1st.” With a clear date in mind, you can work backwards to figure out how to create a schedule to keep you on track. Which is why it’s beneficial to…
MAKE IT A HABIT!
Not all resolutions are habit forming, but most that involve self-improvement or lifestyle changes tend to require some new daily routine. Once you’ve set a finish line you can figure out how much of a dedication you’ll need to get that W. Losing five pounds, dropping a size, or eating healthier are resolutions with good intentions. Unless you’re committed, they’re unlikely to happen fast or sometimes happen at all. Frustration kicks in and then the binge eating liege waffles for breakfast and then the binge watching of all things Netflix and then all of a sudden you say to yourself, go for a walk? What’s walking? I love sitting in my old ways. Of course it’s not a guarantee, but a deadline always causes me to pump up the jams and pump up my motivation. When it comes to dropping a few LBs, it might be more beneficial to make a resolution that sounds more like “I go to the gym for 60 minutes three times a week,” and then the results will naturally follow. Practicing your foreign language every morning, reading one chapter of a book before bed, flossing everyday…Things are always a little easier when you have already carved out time to do them. Writing your resolutions down and posting them in a place you’ll see daily also helps…think PostIts on the bathroom mirror! Getting into a routine and being reminded daily helps you make sure you’re waking up or leaving work at the right time and with reason and also helps you quit making excuses. Ahem…
RECOGNIZE AND AVOID EXCUSES
Excuses are the kryptonite to resolutions. You’ve probably made an excuse sometime in January as to why you should just wait until 2015 to really complete your resolution. “2014 isn’t my year
.” “I’ll start after the Valentine’s Day chocolate parade ends.” “But I can’t save money, the polar vortex!”
Excuses are inevitable. They happen everywhere with everything. I even find that after I’ve made it to the gym, my brain convinces me that running is hard and that I should stop and go sit on a couch and watch TV. When I am out to dinner, my brain tries to convince me that I should just enjoy the meal and order the mac and cheese and the burger and the fries because “when in Rome…” It’s important to acknowledge and recognize when you are making excuses and how relevant they are to your current situation. Recognize the difference between the feelings of tired and fatigued, bored and hungry, unimportant and lazy. Evaluate whether you are always getting out of something you really want and if you really want that thing as much as you think you do. Sometimes all you need is a little encouragement….
TELL YOUR FRIENDS
The voices in your head are nothing compared to the voices in your life. If your resolutions excite you, which they should, then tell your friends! The more people who know about your dreams and goals the more people there are to cheer you on as you for for them. Who knows, you might find someone that has the same one! Going to the gym, learning a language, moving across the country, becoming a morning person, and cookings sans microwave are all more fun with friends.
PREPARE TO FAIL. SOMETIMES.
Brian Tracy, a goal setting aficionado and author of Focal Point
, claims that 50% of the goals you set will fail, not because you aren’t capable of them, but because they were challenging enough that you couldn’t quite make it. Of course, trying to fail or making the excuse that you should just quit because failure was on the horizon anyway isn’t part of the plan. Not being able to speak fluent French in one year but committing one hour, three days a week for a year is quite the feat. Sure you didn’t hit your July 2014 deadline, but you still went to France and said a convincing “au revoir!” Good for you!
This year (we’ll let January slide), look at your calendar, look to your friends and take a look at yourself and see what you can resolve to accomplish
. Even if your answer is eat more jellybeans
What are some of the resolutions you’re looking forward to keeping this year? Post below!