How to Make Your New Year’s Resolution Stick

2016 lettersMany people start off the new year with a New Year’s Resolution. However, come the end of January, many people have managed to slip back into their old habits. Here are some tips on how to make a resolution that will stick around the whole year!

Setting Your Goal

Make it Achievable

When setting a goal, it’s tempting to set your sights very high. But it can be disheartening if you fall short. So instead of saying you’ll lose 50 pounds and complete a marathon by the end of the year, set a more achievable goal, such as losing 10 pounds and completing a 5k. You’ll always feel that your goal is in reach.

Set Mini-Goals Along the Way

The way you actually achieve a goal is little-by-little, not all at once. Setting mini-goals you can accomplish more readily, will help them feel attainable and keep you progressing forward.

Staying Motivated

Identify Your Reason

Why does your resolution exist? Articulating and visualizing why you’re pushing yourself can be a great motivator, because it gives you something to grab onto when things get tough.

Find Something You Love

Achieving anything takes work, but the best way to stick with it is to enjoy the work. Being active doesn’t mean you need to run every day; maybe you prefer kickboxing classes or swimming. If you enjoy the journey as much as the destination, you’ll be more likely to stick with it. Make your resolution your hobby – something to look forward to.

Team up with a Friend

Texting your friend that you’re not going to make your early-morning run is the worst feeling. Find a friend that is working toward a similar goal and you will push each other without even realizing it. Simply making your resolution public to friends and family can help. The more people know about your goal, the more people there are to support you and keep you on track.

Reward Yourself

For some added motivation, consider rewarding yourself for completing milestones along the way. But make sure these rewards don’t work against your goal – fatty foods or a day on the couch, for example. Instead, reward yourself by taking a trip to the spa or buying those new sneakers you’ve had your eyes on. The more you’ll gain by reaching your goals, the less likely you’ll be to turn away from them.

Avoiding Pitfalls

Plan Ahead

Sometimes, resolutions are most difficult to keep when you stray from your normal routine, such as during the holidays or a vacation. Even something as simple as bad weather could throw your routine out of whack. But this can be avoided if you plan ahead. Your goal is to run three times per week? Look at the weather at the beginning of the week, and plan to run on the days with the sunniest skies. Or, if bad weather conditions are unavoidable, plan to use an indoor option like a treadmill, elliptical, or combination of both. On vacation, consider booking a room at a hotel that includes a gym facility if possible, or look up running routes ahead of time.

Stay Positive

When you fall short, the best way to make sure you get right back on track is to stay positive. Beating yourself up won’t get you closer to your goal. Treat yourself how you would treat your friend. If a friend was upset because they missed a day of running or ate a doughnut they later regretted, you wouldn’t tell them it was the end of the world. You would remind them that it was only a small slip up, insignificant compared to how far they’ve come already. Apply that logic to the way you think about and motivate yourself.

While we’re focused on exercise and healthy habits in this blog, these strategies can be employed for any New Year’s Resolution or goal throughout the year. Here’s to a happy and healthy year, chock full of completed goals!

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