This year, ask yourself an important question — how can I create meaningful New Year’s Resolutions that I’ll actually stick with?
These tips will help you make realistic and achievable resolutions for 2017.
1. Do Something You Actually Want To Do
How many times have you resolved to lose weight, save more money or eat better? Instead of resolving to do something you think others like to hear, resolve to do something you really care about. Will a new meditation regimen be more meaningful to you than a new gym membership? Will you be happier giving something up, or giving back to your community by volunteering for a cause you care about? Resolve to do just that.
2. Stick with Specificity
Making a New Year’s resolution is simply setting a goal. Be very specific about what you want to do to increase your chances of success. “I’ll lose weight” isn’t specific enough. “I’ll lose 20 pounds between January and March” is how you’ll actually do it. Being specific forces you to think about the how, not just the what.
3. Think Big, Plan Small
Break your resolution down into smaller steps. Instead of planning to lose 40 pounds, plan instead to lose, say, 5 pounds a week. If you’re hoping to save money in the new year, alter your daily routine with tasks that will help you achieve that goal — bring lunch from home, carpool to work or focus your free time on inexpensive hobbies and social activities. It’s easier to reach these smaller benchmarks on an ongoing basis, which add up to something larger in the long run.
4. Stay the Course
Remind yourself of your goals any chance you get. Write your resolution on sticky notes and hang them where you’ll see it most often — mirrors, doors, inside the fridge. Try saying it out loud every time you see one of your notes so it becomes a personal mantra.
5. Don’t Punish Yourself for Setbacks
Don’t fall off track if you’re unable to meet smaller, daily goals once in a while. If you oversleep one day and miss a workout, don’t be so hard on yourself. Enjoy the extra rest — then work extra hard the next morning to get your workout in. And if you succeed in sticking to your training schedule for an entire week, reward yourself, even if it’s something small, like an afternoon coffee.
6. Stay Inspired
Making a change in your life can be difficult, so seek out ideas and advice from others who have successfully reached similar goals. Books, films, online forums and like-minded friends or coworkers can spark the motivation you’ll need to keep yourself on track.
Set yourself up for success this year by choosing meaningful, actionable goals that will improve your well-being. Stay committed to smaller, attainable benchmarks throughout the year to bring about real change in your life.