new year resolutions

7 helpful tips for making your new year’s resolutions stick

Those who give up on their pursuit set vague goals, rarely track their progress, and have unreasonable expectations of themselves.
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A new year gives us a chance to start afresh. We open a new chapter and try to bring changes in our lives that can lead to a bright and optimistic future. No wonder so many people make new year’s resolutions to be a better version of themselves. Whether it is losing weight, getting out of debt, improving their health or earning that long-standing promotion, we all set goals for ourselves at the start of every year.

However, after a few months, most of us tend to forget about the promises we made to ourselves. We return to our normal lives, repeating the same old behaviours that we wanted to get rid of in the first place. According to US News & World Report, about 80 percent of people who make resolutions drop them by the second week of February. This is certainly discouraging and makes you wonder why people make resolutions at all if they don’t intend to follow through?

The thing is those who give up on their pursuit set vague goals, rarely track their progress, and have unreasonable expectations of themselves. On the other hand, those who successfully pursue their goals have a different approach to their targets. They know the changes they want to bring into their lives and how to go about it. They are clear and determined. This is what separates them from others. If you are planning to set a few resolutions yourself, here are a few tips that can help you beat the odds and keep them.

Be realistic

The first rule of keeping a new year’s resolution is to set realistic and achievable goals. Avoid making resolutions that sound great but are difficult to accomplish. Don’t set vague targets like increasing your happiness or becoming healthier. Set measurable goals that you’ll enjoy pursuing. For instance, if you wish to become healthy, your goal can be going to a gym three times a week. Or if you want to try new things—learn a new language or a skill—create a list of activities you want to participate in. And make sure to add goals that you are interested to achieve and can make time off your daily schedule.

Plan in advance

Don’t wait until the last minute to set your new year’s resolution. Think ahead and plan how you intend to achieve your goals in the coming months. If you don’t, chances are you will come across obstacles that would easily derail you from your path. Planning keeps you prepared for the challenges that you may face in future. At the same time, your goals will have more meaning as you would have calculated the risk and reward factors, and the time you need to dedicate to this endeavour.

Focus on one goal at a time

Often, people keep multiple resolutions at the dawn of a new year. Due to this approach, it becomes difficult to decide which goals to pursue first, and which ones to keep for a later period. While making more than one resolution is fine but when it comes to execution, it is better to focus on one goal at a time. Doing so will free your mind from all the clutter and keep you focused on what you intend to achieve. This is the best way to accomplish more in less time.

Make your resolutions public

Share your resolutions with your friends and family. They are the ones who will give you the maximum encouragement and support you need to reach your destination. They will be your biggest cheerleaders and harshest critic. They will motivate you when you are running short of it and help you get back on track when you procrastinate. If you really want to make your new year’s resolutions stick, this is a great way to go about it.

Track your progress

It is important to track your progress if you want to stick to your new year’s resolutions. Check-in with yourself regularly. Reassess your goals. Make adjustments to your approach if required. The idea is to stay up-to-date with your progress. When you track how far you’ve come, you gain valuable insight into the kind of difference you are making in your life. You naturally become more purposeful towards your goals, which motivates you to never lose sight of your destination.

Keep a reward for yourself

You can easily get discouraged if your focus is only on the end-game. A small setback can deter you from your journey. After all, it’s a journey that can take several weeks and months to finish. To avoid this, recognise your successes and make sure to reward yourself when you accomplish a goal, no matter how small. This is a good way to boost your motivation. For instance, if your goal is to run a marathon, don’t save the party for the finishing line. After each training session, reward yourself with a book, a good meal or a movie night with your friends. This way, you will keep stress at bay and stay focused on your goal.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

Setbacks and failures are part of the journey. Don’t let them throw you off track. Learn how to handle them so you are better prepared the next time you face such a situation. If you slip up, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start again. Don’t beat yourself if you can’t hit the bullseye in your first attempt. One mistake shouldn’t stop you from going after your goals and dreams. Figure out what went wrong and try again. This is the only way forward in life.

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