There’s no better time than the beginning of a new year to turn over a new leaf and work toward bettering yourself. Whether your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, spend more time with loved ones or save more money, choosing your resolution in December is easy. Sticking to that resolution in January and beyond is tough.
By some estimates, about 40 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions each year. But only a fraction of those — about eight percent — are successful at keeping their resolutions. But while the odds may be against you, it is possible to see your New Year’s resolution through to the end. If you’ve fallen off track, simply start again tomorrow.
Here are some tips to help you keep your resolution and reach your goal.
Keep it simple.
Complicated resolutions and goals are much harder to keep. While it’s great to aspire to an extreme transformation, the reality of reaching that goal can be daunting. Keep your resolution list short and simple. Set small, attainable goals to aim for throughout the year, rather than one lofty and overwhelming goal.
Make it measurable.
Any goal you make should have achievable metrics so you can easily track your progress. For example, you may find that your goal to “lose weight” is quite frustrating, whereas a resolution to lose a specific number of pounds by a set date is more achievable (just be realistic).
Better yet, rather than a resolution to lose weight, why not set out to cut junk food from your diet for eight weeks? By improving your nutrition and cutting high calorie snacks from your diet, you’ll likely lose weight without ever being focused on the number.
Share your goal.
If you haven’t already, let a friend or family member (or two) in on your New Year’s resolution. Sharing your goals with friends or family gives you accountability and can help you stay on track when you’re tempted to drift because you think no one’s watching. Social media can also be a great tool to chronicle your attempts to make life changes and work toward self-improvement, no matter what your specific goal may be.
Believe in yourself.
We all hit bumps along the way to achieving our goals, but it’s important to keep believing in yourself through it all. Despite what you may think, you do possess the willpower to succeed.
As the saying goes, “If you believe it, you can achieve it.” While that may seem like nothing more than a nice thought, it does hold some truth. Research suggests that willpower is malleable, essentially meaning you have as much willpower as you think you have.
Give yourself grace.
Let’s face it: no one is perfect. We all fall and sometimes we fail. That’s okay. The important thing is that you get back up and keep on trying. If you made a New Year’s resolution to exercise five days a week and you only managed to fit in three workouts this week, don’t let that be your excuse to give up altogether. You may not have a perfect record, but who does? Try again tomorrow. Be diligent and determined and understand that mistakes and failures happen.
No matter your goal, take time to celebrate the milestones along the way. Track your progress and appreciate how far you’ve come. You can be one of that eight percent! Take these tips to heart and keep moving forward. Your persistence will pay off in the end.