It’s the start of a New Year.
A new book with 365 fresh pages to write out a new story.
And if you’re like the rest of us, you have an impressive list of impending changes and are ready to hit the ground running on January 1st to make this year go down in the history books.
But before you sign on the dotted line for that 12-month gym membership, or trendy new health food company that delivers organic ingredients right to your doorway, take a step back – and a wee little bit of planning – to ensure that you have success with your New Year Resolutions. We have some tips and tricks that are sure to turn that boring list into a recipe for success!
- Research your resolutions – and be reasonable. If you down 4 cups of coffee before walking out your front door to start the day, it’s unreasonable to expect to be able to cut caffeine out cold turkey – and it’s the same with losing weight. Don’t just decide what you want a particular change to be, but why you want to enact a particular resolution. Then, decide what’s a reasonable way to reach your resolution goal. And remember to check with your doctor before making any health or exercise changes.
- Be specific with resolutions – including the goal of each one. Try not to decide to “eat healthy” or “exercise more” for the upcoming year. Such vague goals are easy to stumble over and get stuck in the muck and mire. Instead, try to set specific goals such as eating 2 servings of vegetables with each meal rather than generically “eating healthy”. Remember: measurable goals are much more attainable than vague ones.
- Stagger start dates. Having a list of changes for the New Year is admirable – but expecting yourself to make multiple rapid changes can wrack havoc on your lifestyle and relationships. Consider scheduling your resolutions, perhaps one per month, that includes an expiration date. Making a change and expecting yourself to carry it out every day for the next 365 days can seem overwhelming, but making a change for just 4 weeks – hey, that’s doable!
- Limit the days per week of the resolution. Seriously. Much like staggering a start date can increase the likelihood of success, If you have just certain days of the week you do – or do not – participate in the resolution your chance for victory just multiplied a lot. A daily exercise regime, for example, could be limited to 2 or 3 specific days per week and is easier to manage and work into than an every day event.
- Give each resolution an expiration date. We all make resolutions that seem reasonable – but the truth is that what seems like a good idea in theory might not be so wonderful once you’ve started. By making each resolution self-limiting, you shift from “failing” in a particular area to actually achieving the resolution.
With a little planning, a dash of patience, and a smidge of perseverance you can confidently go into the New Year with a definitive plan that will lead to success for all your resolutions – even those that you ‘try out’ for a couple weeks.