The New Year often brings resolutions such as volunteering more, losing weight and spending more time with family. This practice is a healthy way to redefine goals and aspirations. However, statistics show that less than 25 percent of people stay committed to their resolution, and only 8 percent actually accomplish it. For those who want to achieve a resolution but feel discouraged by these statistics, here are some tips that may help you reach your goal.
Before deciding on a resolution, you should find a goal that you are passionate about. Your passion will keep you encouraged throughout the year. Next, it is important to pick one goal and be as specific as possible. If you have too many resolutions, it is easy to get overwhelmed. If you’re trying to lose weight, don’t just say “I want to lose weight,” rather, decide on the exact number of pounds you wish to lose. It is very difficult to reach your goals if they are not clearly defined. Once you have a detailed resolution, you should break it into steps. Trying to tackle the whole resolution at once will hardly be productive, especially if the resolution is time-sensitive. Each step will act as its own “mini-goal” and you will feel accomplished after finishing each part. This feeling of accomplishment will push you to complete the next step of your resolution.
After mentally preparing your resolution, make sure to write it down. This trick ensures that you are tracking and reflecting on your progress. A good method for writing down your resolution is to think about it in terms of the SMART method—write down a Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based goal. When you see that you have consistently worked towards your resolution for a set period of time, it is less likely you will break the resolution. And, at the end of the year, you can reflect on where you started from and reminisce about your journey.
Once you have figured out the details of your resolution, you should seek support from others. It can be encouraging to know you are not in this alone. Your friends and family will push you even when you can’t push yourself.
The last step, and perhaps the most important one, is to not be so hard on yourself. People are usually their own worst critics. If you have a rough day and break your resolution, it is important to get up and try again tomorrow. Enjoy the New Year!