The fireworks that light up the sky on New Year’s seem to promise you the best of the year—or better yet, the best of yourself. That your willpower will finally be able to hold you accountable for all those resolutions you’ve broken over the years and you will make the New Year the best time of your life.
Mid-year, however, you will find yourself jolted back to the reality that you’ve broken your promises again. And then when the end of the year rolls by, you make another list and hope for the best.
Broken resolve is one of the most common causes for unfulfilled New Year’s resolutions. You want to lose weight but then you ended up going out with your friends for a meal and beers and then you lose sight of your goals. You want to save up enough money for that once-in-a-lifetime trip but you spent it on you don’t remember what. All these scenarios have become such clichéd response to your broken promises.
How do you actually stick to your New Year’s resolutions?
1. Be specific and work on your most realistic goals first. Which of your goals are the ones you really do want to happen? And which one of these are you are most confident of achieving? Take, for example, losing weight. Don’t write “I want to lose weight” without any end-goal in sight. Why do you want to lose weight, in the first place? For how long should you do it? The answer to this would boost your motivation and would help you be more specific with your methods. If you want to lose weight to be healthy, you will understand that eating less is not the answer to this and that physical activities are required. You should ask yourself how much you want to lose and what is the healthiest method for weight loss?
2. Write your resolutions and put the list where you’d see it every day. Making it work can be seriously challenging. It takes more than discipline to do this—it means commitment, at least on a personal level. When you commit to something, you also take responsibility and do everything in your power to make it work. So, for example, you write “I want to save up enough money for a trip to Japan in 2016,” you need to constantly remind yourself of this (daily should be ideal). And you direct yourself towards the right path. Put up the reminder in your room, at your work station, or any other place you frequently visit for maximum impact.
3. Call in reinforcements. Telling your friends, family, or even a support group about your resolutions is a good start. Assuming they wholeheartedly support you, you will be constantly reminded of your promises. Your resolution doesn’t just become your own. It is something you’ve promised other people you’d do. You may also opt to stick with someone who’d do it with you so you can update each other about your respective progresses. Support is a very important source of motivation. Without this, it will be very, very hard for you to be fully committed to your resolutions.
4. Write about your progress and review it. In any situation, recognizing progress is an important step towards the fulfillment of your goals. Recording and reviewing your progress will keep you on track and help fuel your motivation to keep your resolution.
You must remember that processes and methods vary depending on your quirks and personality. Take the suggestions above and make them work for you.
Resolutions are commitments. Ultimately, you are resolving to do something good for yourself. There is nothing wrong with trying to improve your disposition. Positive changes contribute to a happier disposition, so march forward to a more committed and responsible you for the New Year!