As the end of the current year approaches; many start to turn their eyes to the promise that January brings. There’s nothing quite like a new calendar and a new year to inspire optimism, even if it’s only fleeting. Although “New Year’s resolutions” are popular and traditional, so is the tendency to break them.
So, what is a real resolution and how can you make sure you have the best chance for success?
Resolutions are promises first and foremost. They are a promise you make to yourself to do something that will help you grow or better yourself in some way. Since resolutions are promises made to oneself; it can be easier to go back on them, so it’s important to really understand what it is you are resolving to do and why you need to honor that path.
A good resolution should be something attainable that can be planned out. Many people start off with vague and lofty resolutions without much of a plan on how to achieve them. Weight loss is a common one. In fact, any gym owner will tell you that they get an influx of new members at the first of the year, and that by March, most have stopped making a habit of going.
In the enthusiasm of the moment, it can be easy to promise oneself the moon and stars. When we are motivated; it seems like anything is possible and it’s common to go full force, only to burn out quickly as that initial enthusiasm fades. Gradually, old habits creep back in and before you know it, nothing has changed. This is why a lot of New Year’s resolutions fail, because they are not well planned and the determination needed to continue falls away.
The best resolutions are more than one-time promises made to mark a place on a calendar. In fact, the start of the New Year may not be the ideal time to start, depending on the goal you have. Determination is like a fuel tank that must be refilled to be effective. This is where planning and reward systems come into play.
As you make a resolution, first consider the most important goal you truly want to reach. This should be the one thing that moves you above all others; something you really feel motivated to do. Your goal could be anything from improving health to starting a new business. The important thing is to have a true desire for it. Once you have come up with one larger goal, break it down into “bite size” chunks. Reaching many smaller goals is easier and helps to maintain enthusiasm. If you want to lose 50 pounds, that task may seem daunting, but if you break it down to 5 pounds at a time, it becomes more manageable. Once you reach the first goal, the incentive to keep going will propel you forward towards success.
As we reach the start of a new year, pick a goal you truly want to accomplish and really throw yourself into it. Plan it out, create a series of smaller goals and then track your progress. This will ensure that you accomplish all you set out to do.