A new year is seen by many as an opportunity to improve and grow in order to become the best versions of ourselves. We create resolutions and goals to help our physical and emotional well being. However, maintaining these goals can be hard, leading to us giving them up. Most resolutions end up being abandoned within the first few months of the new year. Here are some tips on how to ensure that your goals will last and become incorporated into your daily routine.
Be specific with your goal
Creating broad resolutions result in creating resolutions that are not focused and cannot be measured. This lack of specificity makes it easier to dismiss your goal. Instead, use specific details with your resolution in order to ensure that its progress can be easily measured and achieved. Specificity in your resolutions will help hold yourself accountable and make it easier to maintain your new habits. For example, rather than simply saying you want to exercise
Unfocused: I want to exercise more.
Less unfocused: I want to do more core strengthening workouts.
Focused: I want to complete at least two core strengthening workouts a week.
While it can get easy to get carried away with our goals, it is important to make sure these goals are feasible for you to accomplish. Creating resolutions that are too extreme or too unconventional with regards to our daily lives can cause frustration and disappointment. As a result of this frustration, it is easier for you to abandon their resolution quickly. It is important to create more practical and sustainable goals so as to ensure you can abide by them for a longer period of time.
For example, if you have not been reading regularly, it would be more practical for you to set a goal of reading 30 minutes a day as opposed to finishing one book every two days. You can always adjust your goals throughout the year to make them more relevant to your current situation.
Gradually incorporate your goals into your routine
Many people assume that by 12:01 on January 1 they should be on track to achieve and abide by their resolution. Expecting to immediately accomplish your newly created goals can lead to you quickly abandoning your resolution. The purpose of creating resolutions is to gradually make beneficial adjustments to your routine in order to improve your lifestyle. Rushing to meet your goals defeats this process and limits the effectiveness of your resolutions. Instead, take progressive steps to meet your goals. For instance, if your goal is to get back into running, it would be more beneficial to start with aiming to run once a week rather than trying to run every day.
Have alternatives to habits you are giving up
Many resolutions include giving up unhealthy habits. However, implementing new habits in place of the one you are trying to give up can make it easier to achieve your goal. For example, if one of your resolutions is to lower your screen time, think of other activities you could do that would replace the time you would normally be on your phone, such as exercising or reading. Having new activities to replace previous ones can help ensure that you will follow your resolution.
Give yourself time to adjust
Change does not happen overnight! It is important to allow yourself time to adapt and incorporate your new habits into your routine. It is equally important to allow yourself to make mistakes and break your resolution at the beginning. Creating and following new habits is a process, meaning that it will not happen overnight. If you stray from your resolution, go easy on yourself and keep persevering.
Resolutions can be a helpful way to keep you motivated and begin the year on the right foot. However, do not feel pressured to make many resolutions or completely change your lifestyle. Do what feels best for you and what will maximize your happiness and well being. I hope you all have an amazing year!