Make the Most of Your New Year’s Resolutions: 7 Tips to Success

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Make the Most of Your New Year's Resolutions:  7 Tips to Success

So, here we are… almost a week into the new year.  And, so far, it’s been great!  I don’t know about you, but I’d like to keep the train rolling in that direction.  I’d like to make it better than last year, even.

I’d like to be better at certain things and not focus so much on other things.  For me, that’s where New Year’s Resolutions come into play.  What can I do to make my life better, healthier, and do the same for the lives of my family?

Your New Year’s Resolutions may focus a bit differently than mine, but the steps necessary to be sure we are successful in achieving our resolutions/goals are the same.  If you want to make sure your resolutions for 2016 are achievable, you’ll want to check out these 7 tips that will ensure you will be successful in achieving your resolutions for the year.

1. Don’t make vague resolutions… be specific.  When our resolutions are too vague, it’s hard to measure success and sometimes it’s even hard to know how to meet the goal.   For example, if you want to spend less this year, don’t stop at that statement.  Instead, resolve that you will take your lunch to work at least 2 times a week and you’ll exercise at home instead of spending money on a gym membership.

2. Start Small.  Resolutions don’t have to be big.  And, sometimes, when they are too big it is almost impossible to achieve the resolution.

Maybe your resolution this year is related to running and you want to run a marathon this year. That’s a pretty big goal… particularly if you’ve never been a runner.  You need to determine if you have the running experience to make this happen.  Then, based on the answer to that question you can determine if running a marathon is really possible this year.

If you’re a first-time runner, it might be more realistic to resolve to get out each evening and run a mile (or other manageable goal).  Throughout the year, if you find you can run further and are able to fit that into your routine, then most definitely make that adjustment.  In that way, you’ve met your goal and, if you are able to increase that goal, it’s all that much better!

3. Build into your plans how you will handle slip-ups.  Let’s face it.. there will be at least one day during the year that you will not run, or eat healthy, or other thing that will get in the way of meeting your resolution for the year.  Allow for that… it’s okay (as long as it doesn’t happen everyday of the year! 🙂 ).  Decide that when it does happen, you won’t quit, you’ll just get up the next day and make the right decision.

4. Accountability Is a Good Thing.  Find a friend that will work with you on your resolution and that will hold you accountable as you work towards your goal.  We all do better when we have someone in our life that will (gently) hold us accountable and maybe even get out there and work on the same goal alongside us.  It becomes more fun and we’re less likely to tell a friend no than we will ourselves.

5. Determine how will you achieve your resolution.  It needs to be more than “I want to lose 20 lbs in 2016.” What are the steps you will take to lose 20 lbs?  Will you cut out sodas and chips from your diet?  Will you walk 2 miles each evening?  Knowing the exact way you will accomplish your goal will also ensure success.  And, if you get a month or two down the road and find the steps you defined aren’t working (or maybe you’ve already met the goal!), re-evaluate and set new or modified steps.

6. Don’t set too many resolutions.  None of us have unlimited time or resources to achieve the entire list of things we’d like to accomplish.  Pick your top 2 or 3 (or less) and go with that.  You’ll want to choose the ones that are most important to you and are the most achievable.  If you find later in the year that you can pick up another one, most definitely do so.  But, remember… the longer your list, the harder to realistically achieve.

7. Post a copy of your resolution(s) where you will see it each day.  Don’t let those resolutions get lost under the piles of paperwork on your desk or counter tops.  Post it somewhere you will see it each day.  Maybe it’s on the refrigerator, on your desk, the bathroom mirror… just make sure it’s where you will see it.  “Out of sight, out of mind” isn’t what we’re going for here! 🙂

These tips have really helped me to focus and zoom in on what I want to achieve each year. I think my favorite of these 7 tips is defining the steps I will take to meet my resolution.  This one tip has made a real difference in how I approach my resolutions and my ability to achieve my resolutions.

What do you take into consideration when making your New Years Resolutions?  I’d love to hear what works for you and what you’ll be working on in 2016!

~ Melanie