How to make your New Year Resolutions last beyond January….

Popular statistics reveal that only eight percent of New Year resolutions made in January make it to March.  Take a good look at yourself, as January gives way to February. Are you one of them?

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Beginnings are beautiful. Everyone loves the exhilarating feeling that comes with starting. The dawn of something new seems to awaken fresh hope in our hearts, propelling us to dare to dream. We make plans, new resolves, set goals, envision possibilities…For a few golden days or even weeks, there is a spring to our step, a purpose to our every action, we believe anything is possible. Until time proves us wrong and months pile, leaving our dreams stranded in our imagination lane, our hopes depleted, and our drive is gone.

If you said 2023 was your year and you want it so, then you have to read on.

Since getting your goals done depends on you, here are just a few things you need to do.

Reset your goals if they are not small and realistic.

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Rather than saying you want to lose 50 pounds or run a marathon, break your goals down into specific, short-term steps. When your goal encompasses smaller steps with a shorter time frame to the reward, you’re more likely to stick to it. You can start by making a decision to train for 20 or 30 minutes a day, or every other day. Or if you want to cut out sugar, commit to reducing portions or changing your sugar source to a healthier, less caloric option.

Now that is realistic, achievable and cumulatively leads to your big goal of losing X amount of pounds and becoming healthy.

You should make a commitment and believe you can do it. 

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Once you establish your goals, the biggest piece of advice you can get is to make a decision that you will get it done at all costs, even if it means you have to sacrifice the habits you currently have. This is because the biggest problem is a lack of commitment and failure to believe it can actually happen. Join an accountability group or have an accountability partner to help you keep yourself in check.

Be wary of going too hard at the start of the beginning.

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Aim to improve, not to transform your life. For example, if you watch TV for two hours every evening, do not resolve to spend those two hours in the gym. You won’t do it. Instead, aim to watch TV for an hour and spend that extra hour walking the dog, or doing something else you actually enjoy doing. Replacing a pleasant activity with an unpleasant one, without a break, almost always does not work. Except, of course, going cold turkey works for you.

You have to set yourself up for success. 

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If you’ve started on New Year’s Day and have missed taking some actions, it’s not over. If your goal is to be healthier, prepare in advance to get off to a good start, such as shopping for healthy food, having healthy food prepared and readily available, and getting items like potato chips and cookies out of your pantry. For people who want to stop smoking, you can prepare a couple of weeks in advance by adjusting some habits. For instance, if you always smoke in the car or when you are drinking coffee, try not smoking in the car or with coffee for two weeks to break those associations. That’s how you set yourself up for success, not failure.

Learn to be patient and forgiving of yourself. 

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Since you’re learning to stay committed and to hold yourself accountable, you should also learn to be gentle with yourself when you slip up.

Experts say it takes three weeks to change a habit and two to three months for it to become automatic. Staying conscious of your goals, while being compassionate and patient with yourself when you fall can be very helpful. It’s so easy to get angry when we’re struggling to change a habit, but instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water, get back on it tomorrow without being so self-critical.

Cheers to you smiling at the end of the year with all your goals achieved.

Do you have any question or comment? Do share with us in the comment section.

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