Starting the New Year Right – How to Stick To Your New Year’s Resolution

With the New Year just around the corner, you may be giving thought to your resolution. But did you know that 80% fail to keep their New Year’s resolution each year? Many lose steam in their efforts by mid-February.

Don’t let those statistics deter you! It is possible to be part of that 20% with the right plan. Here are some tips and tricks to help ensure you stick to it this year!

Set Realistic Goals

Setting goals is the main part of the resolution, of course! Yet many fail to reach their end goal – why? It could be partly due to the fact that it was unrealistic. They may have wanted to lose 10 pounds by February for example, yet the average for healthy weight loss tends to be around 4 to 8 pounds a month. While the 10 pounds is by no means unachievable, it may not be realistic for every individual.

Take the time to write out your goal or goals for the new year. Are you being honest with yourself and what you can achieve? It’s okay to take on a challenge, but you don’t want to take on too much that you discourage yourself just a few weeks in. And remember: You can always change your goals a few weeks in. If you find out you have bitten off more than you can chew, adjust your resolution. These goals aren’t written in stone.

Design a Plan

Shoes and exercise equipment

Now that you have your goal in mind, it’s time to develop a plan and develop it early. Don’t wait until the clock strikes 11:59pm to set up your strategy. Think about it in the weeks leading up to the holiday. How will you work to achieve your goal? What changes will you have to make? Are there any equipment or things you need to start on January 1st?

It’s also a good idea to break the goal up into bite sized pieces. If you’re looking to learn a new language, for example, you may want to try to learn 25 words in the first week, 50 in the second, and 60 in the third. If you’re looking to exercise more, you may start off walking and then begin running a few weeks into your new routine. Create an outline for your success.

Track Your Progress (and Reward Yourself)

Tracking your progress in regards to your New Year’s resolution can be quite rewarding! Even those small victories can keep you motivated. When you complete a bite sized goal, mark it down and celebrate. A journal can be a great way to keep track of your successes, small or large. This is especially handy when it comes to losing weight. You can track what you ate, your current weight, exercise completed, and other aspects so you can see how you improve week after week. It helps to see your progress clearly in front of you.

Plan your rewards ahead of time too! When you do hit that first goal, how will you celebrate? If you’ve been losing weight, you don’t want to congratulate yourself with sweets, but rather buy a book, a movie, or a new piece of clothing for yourself.

Remember: It’s Okay to Make Mistakes

People are going to make mistakes when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions and goals. When you make them, don’t throw up your hands and give up on it all. Too often, people take on the all-or-nothing mentality, and that’s why they go from one extreme to another.  Instead, remember that tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to get it right.

The all-or-nothing approach tends to deter quite a few people from keeping their resolutions. One mistake can have them give up, thinking it was all for naught and too difficult. However, it’s important to note that new habits take, on average, twenty one days to stick. And it will be six months before it’s a part of your personality. Missing a day won’t ruin your efforts and all your progress, so it’s essential to remember that and get back on track the next day.

Some of you know that I started a daily exercise challenge in October. What you may not know is that I started exercising daily in mid-September and I’ve kept it going. As of this publication, I’ve exercised 91 days in a row! I never thought I would or could do that because I am not one who loves to exercise. But I can truly tell you that it feels to be a part of my DNA now. I must do it. Even if I start late, I will not allow the day to pass without logging in at least 30 minutes of exercise. 

One powerful tool that has helped me stick to my daily exercise is my community. I have a small group, we call ourselves the Fab 4. I post my exercise everyday. And you all are part of my community as well because I keep telling you how I’m doing with my goal. My next goal is to get to 100 consecutive days and to just keep going from there. 

Remember, even if you find your New Year’s resolution falters at that mid-February line, it’s never too late to try again. You can keep working to achieve your goals, even if it turns out to be mid-June! All it takes is a few weeks of commitment before you start building a habit. Writing out your goals, making a plan ahead of time, tracking your progress, and remembering it’s okay to make mistakes will help set you up for success. And last, but certainly not least–get involved in a supportive community that will cheer you on!

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