Many of you may have had a rough time last year – going through a devastating break up or divorce. I know from personal experience that a new year is an excellent opportunity to draw a line through your “old life” and start a new one.
While New Year’s resolutions are actually a good thing, they alone cannot accomplish a change of attitude. What we need is a mental shift.
Why do people make New Year’s resolutions?
New Year’s resolutions are an annual ritual. They give us the opportunity to change what we do not like in our lives by “resetting” and starting all over again. A new year allows us to look back at bygones and consider them in the past. That’s why it’s easier to make a new start.
Sounds great, huh?
Actually this sounds great in theory, but there is a problem.
They rarely stick.
So, what to do? How do we know that we will not fall into the same old pattern again?
There is a way which can help you focus on your new goal. This can be used for all kinds of New Year’s resolutions, be it to heal from a break up or divorce, lose weight or quit smoking.
Why do people often abandon their resolutions?
The most common reason is that most people get very discouraged if they don’t see results very quickly. They think there efforts were useless and quit.
Another thing is that the goals were set too high, too early (this is true especially for a break up cure). It’s then simply too difficult and exhausting to reach them. How much easier is it then to wallow in self-pity, kill off a pound of chocolate or light that alluring cigarette?
Sometimes it’s so much easier to procrastinate until tomorrow than to work on ourselves today.
What we need is some guidance on how to effectively set and execute our New Year’s resolutions.
Listed below, I have collected some tips for making a New Year’s resolution and ideas on how to make them actually stick, so that you can profit the most from them.
Here are 5 Tips for better New Year’s resolutions:
1. Make an action plan
Make a list of all the things you hated last year. What has made you feel discontent last year? What is it you don’t like about your life? Where is there really a problem? How can you change it?
Make a plan on how you will proceed. Lay out in detail all the steps you want to take. The more precise, the better.
2. Your goals must be realistic
Setting the goals too high will only harm you. You cannot lose 50 pounds in a week the healthy way, and you cannot start dating a week after your break up.
It is very important that you set goals that you can actually reach, only then will you not get frustrated and quit.
This is actually very tricky: it is very difficult to estimate if a goal is reachable or not. Business goals are usually set very high, personal development goals are set low then adjusted with time.
3. Use a carrot and no stick
If you were disciplined and completed all the tasks in time, then reward yourself. If on the other hand you were not successful,, then do not beat yourself up. Allow yourself to be imperfect. Beware: do not use an imperfection for an excuse to quit. Just move on.
4. Make the tasks appealing
If you really don’t feel like getting up early for exercise, making affirmations or whatever your goal is, then focus on something that you like about it. In every difficult and maybe boring task you can find one small element which is interesting, particularly for you.
Hold on to that part. Make it appealing. This will motivate you even if you don’t feel like it today.
5. Take action every single day
Persistence and discipline are the guarantee for success. Just do it. Complete the task you’ve set in number 1 and don’t think about it. The more you argue about it, the more reasons you will find to not take action.
New Year’s resolutions are a very recommendable way to start a new year. They can help you a lot – don’t dismiss them as useless. With discipline and persistence you can change the things you don’t want in your life and take a step further towards a happy and fulfilling life.
For that I wish you all the best and a Happy New Year.