At the beginning of each year, we want to start fresh - we feel inspired to get rid of old habits, change unproductive behavior patterns, boost our health, enhance our job performance, improve relationships, and increase our life satisfaction.
This year, you feel all spirited and determined to improve yourself in the honor of the New Year. Whether your New Year's resolutions include finding a soulmate, getting a better job, losing weight or starting psychotherapy, go easy on yourself and make your goals realistic. That's the most important step in making your New Year's resolutions stick throughout the year.
How to Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions and Make Them Stick
If you set too many goals or make your resolutions nonsensical, you may find yourself overwhelmed and discouraged by the very end of January. The failure to keep your resolutions at the beginning of the year can be dispiriting and stressful and may negatively affect your self-esteem and confidence, weaken your resilience, and increase your anxiety.
Therefore, it is important to make your New Year's resolutions wisely. Here are a few tips to help you stick to your goals.
1. Set Clear Goals
A successful individual always sets clear goals. Setting goals is a vital part of your New Year's resolutions. Goals will provide motivation and a clear vision: when you know what you want from life, and more importantly, and how to achieve that, you are more likely to succeed. Setting clear goals will help you focus on getting the needed skills and staying organized.
2. Visualize Your Goals
Once you set your goals, make sure to write them down and visualize actions you need to take to realize those goals. Visualization or mental rehearsal (imagining yourself in a specific situation, performing a specific activity or achieving a specific goal) will help you make your goals tangible. Visualization is a powerful motivation tool that can help you build confidence, improve mood and increase motivation.
3. Keep Your Resolutions Realistic
Whether you decide to exercise more, date more, polish your communication skills, or upgrade your professional assets, keep in mind that no results can happen overnight. Don't expect to see the effects too soon. Give yourself time and stay realistic in setting your New Year's goals.
For example, if you made getting in shape your New Year's resolution, don't get disappointed if you don't see results shortly. Focus on small changes to your fitness habits, for example, start with planning a gym three times a week. Otherwise, you may burn out quickly and feel irritated for not being able to achieve your New Year's goals.
4. Make your Goals Specific
Unclear goals and resolutions won't work. If you want to keep your New Year's resolutions, you need to develop a specific plan for change and map out a clear strategy. For example, if you want to improve your communication skills, target a precise skill you would like to gain or the specific communication patterns that you would like to change. Then plan precise and detailed mini-goals you want to accomplish, e.g., not to withdraw from communication when you feel overwhelmed. Also, visualize the change in your behavior and improvements in your relationships you want to achieve.
5. Plan Small
No matter how generous you may feel at the beginning of the new year, make New Year's resolutions that you can keep. For instance, if your goal is to change some unhealthy behaviors, change one behavior at a time. This way you won't feel overwhelmed.
6. Don't Be Hard on Yourself
Don't strive for perfection when setting your New Year's goals. Also, don't be too rigorous to yourself if you don't always keep strictly to your resolutions. Don't give up because you skipped a gym workout or didn't get a promotion at work. The flaws when changing your thoughts, behaviors, or habits are completely normal and shouldn't discourage you.
7. Incorporate the Resolutions into Your Daily Life
Turning your New Year's resolutions into habits will make it easier to make these intentions stick throughout the year. For example, make a gratitude practice your everyday morning routine and stick to it. This will boost your mood, improve your resilience, and help fight dysfunctional thoughts. Make other healthy lifestyle choices and include them in your everyday habits.
8. Track Your Progress
Studies show that self-monitoring increases the probability of keeping your New Year resolutions. So, make sure to record your changed behavior daily, weekly or monthly using a calendar or a chart. This will boost your self-esteem and motivate you to reach your goals.
9. Reach Out for Counseling
If, regardless of your desire and determination, you still feel that cannot achieve your New Year's goals on your own, seek professional support. Your counselor can suggest some useful strategies for making your resolutions stick, help you change unproductive thoughts and behaviors and encourage you to work on your emotional issues.
The New Year's resolutions are a sound way to do something good for yourself. And even if you don't accomplish all your goals, it's not the end of the world. However, to make sure you don't blow it after only a few weeks, keep your goals realistic and manageable. This will ensure your resolutions stick and help you make positive changes in your life.