See if this sounds familiar – you set a New Year’s resolution, you eagerly work to accomplish it, but then life becomes crazy or complicated and the resolution disintegrates into dust before St. Patrick’s Day. Let’s be honest – we’ve all been there. But no matter what our past has been with resolutions, we owe it to ourselves to keep our promises to ourselves going forward; we should treat the promises we make to ourselves in the same way we treat promises that we make to others. Even though it may not be easy, we can do it! Below are five strategies for keeping New Year’s resolutions:
When making resolutions, be honest with yourself and evaluate what’s feasible for you, your schedule, and your personality. If you’re someone who detests the gym, telling yourself that you’re going to go to the gym every day for two hours most likely isn’t realistic. If you have a sweet tooth like me, telling yourself you won’t eat sugar for a whole year is probably not possible. If you haven’t been great at keeping a journal, committing to writing in it every day most likely won’t last.
Do what is realistic for you and start out small. If you want to establish a healthy exercise habit, start by forming a resolution to exercise two to three times a week. If you want to eat healthier, don’t remove all sugary foods from your life – maybe start by eating healthy throughout the week and allowing yourself to have a doughnut or two on the weekend! Keep in mind that making your goals more realistic doesn’t mean you’re not as ambitious – it means you’re being honest with yourself and setting yourself up for greater success! Being realistic is what ensures that a dream becomes reality.
Less is More
Creating lots of resolutions is great, but it also means that your focus and determination will be thinly spread like butter over too much bread. With all the chaos and unpredictability that life throws at you, maintaining 10+ resolutions can be very difficult, if not impossible, and it’s more difficult to keep track of all your resolutions! So, instead of having an innumerable amount of resolutions, start with three core goals that you are determined to accomplish. This way, you can give plenty of focus and attention to three goals instead of struggling to maintain 30!
Don’t Give Up!
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley
We’ve all been there – we tell ourselves we’ll avoid the cookies, we’ll work out consistently, we’ll spend more time with friends and family, we’ll read more Tony Robbins books, but then our lives get busy with deadlines and errands, or we just get plain tired.
Discouragement begins to erode our determination.
It’s easy to feel defeated after experiences like this, but don’t beat yourself up! One little mistake or hiccup doesn’t mean you’ve ruined all your progress! Failure is only failure if you don’t keep going. So, pick yourself up, dust the crumbs and doubt off, and keep soldiering on!
Write Your Resolutions Down
Writing your resolutions down helps in several ways: first, your resolutions become, or at the very least feel, more real when you put the details on paper; second, you create a visual reminder of your resolutions; third, you ignite and alert your subconscious to your dreams and goals; fourth, numerous studies have shown that writing down goals increases the success rate. Sounds like a surefire success strategy to me!
Set Yourself up for Success
Planning and preparing is the key to ensuring success! Planning doesn’t require monumental work – it’s just means taking small, simple steps to secure your success. If your resolution is to wake up earlier, then make sure to get to bed earlier. If you are trying to eat healthier, prep healthy snacks and meals ahead of time so you’re ready to go when hunger hits! If you want to drink more water, add lemons or cucumbers to make H2O more enjoyable to drink. If you’re wanting to become more punctual, make sure to plan your schedule accordingly. Whatever your ambitions may be, make it easier on yourself to achieve them.
Good luck! YOU’VE GOT THIS!
– Jesse Bailey
Jesse is Viiva’s Senior Copywriter. She recently graduated Cum Laude from the University of Utah with a BA in English and a BS in Economics. She loves hiking, writing, reading, playing her violin, and spending time with loved ones.