It’s that time of year again! Calls for New Year’s resolutions are, quite literally, everywhere. They’re on television, on the radio, even plastered across that billboard you drive past during your morning commute. So we’ve decided to make this year different. We’re giving ourselves (and you!) permission to lower the resolution bar, focus only on the achievable, and forgive any missteps along the way.
No matter what your New Year’s resolution may be — whether it’s to save a million dollars for retirement or simply lose an extra 10 lbs — it’s important to be realistic about what’s achievable and what’s just a pipe dream. Dream as big as you wish, of course, but make sure to consider the steps and actions it will take to reach your goals. Then make a plan and stick to it as best you can.
Use the Buddy System
Some resolutions are best achieved through moral support. Things like quitting a bad habit or going to the gym more often are a lot easier to pull off when a friend or family member joins you in the trenches. Being held accountable to another person will keep you on track far better than if you had chosen to go it alone.
Many people set lofty New Year’s resolutions — but a commitment to yourself doesn’t have to involve some huge life change. Setting small but achievable goals like eating healthier or snacking smarter aren’t so rigid that they won’t happen. Instead of depriving yourself and going cold turkey, maybe you opt for apples with peanut butter as a midnight snack rather than a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.
Do you ever notice how gym parking lots are filled to the gills right after the start of the New Year and then become like ghosts towns around mid February? That’s because many people falter from their resolution, get off track, then give up all together. Again, the most important thing to do is to be realistic. You’re not going to change as a person overnight, so expect a few hiccups along the way, forgive yourself for being human, and keep pushing toward your goal.
Resign yourself to the fact that giving up is not an option and you’re halfway over the resolution hump. No matter how many mistakes or roadblocks stand in your way, take solace in the fact that you’re trying and you’re not a quitter. No matter what happens, pushing yourself in the face of a challenge will make you a stronger person, mentally and physically.