5 Ways to Help Yourself Better Keep A New Year’s Resolution
By: Dilini Dharmawardana, AMFT
We’ve all been there: the start of the new year comes and we’ve decided to set out those new year’s resolutions. Most of the time we don’t end up keeping our new year’s resolutions and we end up feeling guilty that we didn’t do like we were “supposed” to. Here are some helpful tips to assist you in keeping those resolutions:
Tip #1: Start out with a small goal or small chunks of a goal
Sometimes when we set ourselves, gigantic goals, they can seem too daunting and we have a harder time reaching them because they seem “unreachable.” This year set yourself a big goal, but also smaller chunks that lead to that goal. For example, if your overall goal for the year is to lose 20 pounds. Tell yourself that you will lose 2 pounds a month. If we start out small our goals will be more reachable and we may reach them easier.
Tip #2: Keep a Calendar
Keeping a Calendar can help you stay on track with your goal, especially if you mark down the days you have set to do certain tasks to help you reach your goal. Calendars are great told to help us stay on track, but they can also make us feel guilty when we see we haven’t done the task for the day or the week.
Tip 3: Stay Positive
When we skip a day of our plan to do something we oftentimes feel guilty about it and that makes us not want to do said task when it comes around the next day. If we can stay positive and tell ourselves that we can do it, then a lot of times that will help us on our way to meeting our goal.
Tip #4: Keep Your Goals Someplace Visible
When we are able to see our goals on a daily basis as a reminder, it can help us to do them, like we planned. If we happen to skip a day of the “plan,” it is ok and remember Tip #3 and stay positive. Some good places to leave post-its for yourself about your goal include the bathroom mirror, your room mirror, your phone, your computer. Just make sure it’s a place you will look at everyday.
Tip #5: Tell A Friend
Sometimes when we tell about our goals and have somebody who can be our “accountability buddy,” it can make keeping the resolution easier. It is also important to pick a friend who will validate you and praise you for doing things right with your goal as opposed to someone who will focus on the negative. Remember Tip 3 and stay positive. But, make sure to tell your friend not to make you feel guilty when you don’t do a part of your goal for one day.
If you’ve decided to make yourself a new year’s resolution, these tips will help you better accomplish them and stay on track for your bigger goal. Remember, it is ok to have one day off/one “cheat” day in your goal setting plan. The trick is to stay positive! Life is hard enough without us being hard on ourselves!