Every year, most of us make New Year's Resolutions, only to promptly forget about them weeks later. Here are some steps you can take to help stick to your resolutions in 2008:
1. Set specific goals and write them down
Decide what is it that you want to achieve and quantify it (in amount and time). You're much more likely to achieve your goal if it's clear what the goal is and what it means to achieved it. (You're much likely to follow through on "Go to the gym for 45 minutes 3 times a week for the next 6 months" than "Get in Shape"). It is really important to use this opportunity when motivation is high to declare exactly what YOU want to achieve, and write it down somewhere that will be easily accessible and visible (if you're a Wellsphere member, just click Add a Goal). This will make it very easy for you to track your progress and keep yourself accountable.
2. Make your goals realistic
It is easy to look around and see all the “best of” anything and try to benchmarks yourselves to the best of the best. It's great to "think big" and be ambitious, but it's better to achieve a moderate, attainable goal, than to overextend yourself and end up frustrated and disappointed. Set managable goals, and once you've achieved them, set incrementally more challenging goals. Once you prove to yourself you can achieve a goal (any goal), you'll be much more likely to stick to the next one. Most importantly â€“make sure that you take into account that life still happens while your attempting to achieve your goals. When you're planning to climb mount Everest, lose 100 pounds, do Yoga 3 times a day, or become a rockstar, remember that you'll still have to take out the garbage and pay your bills along the way. You get my point- be realistic!
3. Share with others
What works for me very well is actually declaring to the world what I intend to do. What I like best is to share my goals with my closest friends and loved ones, and keep them up to date with my progress. Knowing that they're going to ask me how things are going helps to keep me on track, and I get a ton of satisfaction in declaring to everyone that I actually accomplish something that I committed to do. Positive peer pressure works!
4. Find Your Motivation
Only you know why you're really working toward your goal. What are the benefits for you of succeeding in doing what you want to do in 2008. What do you expect to be your biggest challenges? how will you set yourself up to overcome them and keep going? Maybe thinking about your kids keeps you motivated, or it's your loved ones that you want to be better for. Or maybe for you it's a big fat reward you promise yourself when you've achieved your goal. Be honest with yourself about what motivates you and keep on keeping on.
5. Get Support
Friends, loved ones, (and of course Wellsphere community members) are there to give you support when you need it. Face it, sticking to your resolutions is a pretty tough job (that's why so many people fail), and there is nothing more helpful than having other people there to help give you a nudge at the right time, a gentle reminder, or even just listening to your struggles.
Don't forget, making resolutions is just the first step. You need to actually DO things in order to achieve your New Year’s Resolution. Make a plan - figure out where and how you're going to do your resolutions. If it involves external resources - find resources in your neighborhood or close to work so you don't have extra excuses not to do it. (Check out, Wellsphere's Local Resources directory; it can help!) One other thing that can help is finding other people who have already achieved the goals you're working toward. Ask them how they did it. It can be really inspring to read their success stories, especially the part about their struggles when you're struggling yourself! Just keep reminding yourself, if they can do it, YOU CAN TOO!
Thanks for the good advice. The only way to accomplish a goal is to make it achievable and to plan toward reaching the goal. I think that advertisers have brainwashed us into thinking we have to be able to lose lots of weight in a short amount of time. The truth is most people didn't get out of shape overnight and they won't be able to heal the situation that quickly either.
Great advice. My main problem with these steps is sharing with others. I am an occasional social smoker and my new years resolution is to never have another cigarrette...at least this year! I find it difficult to share with others because a) most people who know me don't know that I occasional smoke, and the ones who do know are the ones who I am tempted to smoke because I am around them.
Anyway, four days in and no cigarrette...but then I wouldn't have had one yet anyway. But I am definitely commited...I will be pretty peaved off with myself if I don't do it.
GREAT for you Sheryl! I am sure you can make it. You have now actually announced your goal to the entire community, and used the accountability trick that I use now often (announcing to the world that I will drink more water in 2008). We are all behind you and hope you never smoke again, not even socially and not even one single puff!
Thanks for the great advice! I've actually found that writing down my goals in the past hasn't been helpful because the lists just tend to collect dust, but this time around, I wrote them down and revisit them at least once a day, then write down specific actions in my day planner that I can take towards achieving them. This has already been super effective so far. It's really all about the baby steps.