Yes, 2017 did arrive, right on schedule. Are you ready? Did you make any resolutions for the new year? Why do we make resolutions at all? A new year brings new possibilities, new choices and a new hope for the future. This year, people told me they were either not making any resolutions, or had a long list of them. Here are the ones that I have heard over and over again.
- Lose weight
- Get in Shape
- Get organized
- Get my finances on track
- Eat healthy
- Give more to charity
- Do volunteer work
- Save money
- Be nicer to people
- Read more
I’ve always been a resolution maker. Every year, I make a list of everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) I want to change and accomplish in the coming year. I keep this humongous list in the top drawer of my dresser, so I see it and re-read it every time I open the drawer. January first, I am ready to go. I have so much enthusiasm and drive that the list almost looks too small. I start with the easy ones. Knock out the ones that I can cross off the list fast. I love seeing the cross outs on the list, it gives me the encouragement to keep going.
The mistake I make is creating a list that’s much too long and unrealistic to accomplish. But here’s the good news. I just came across a guide to making and keeping your resolutions that is awesome. It’s a long list, but worth the read.
- Keep it Simple – Simplify your resolutions to ensure you can achieve them.
- Be Choosy – Agreeing to a New Year’s resolution just because you feel you should is setting yourself up for failure. Instead, choose to change something you really desire to change and your chances for success are much greater.
- Be Realistic – Sure, you may want to lose 20 pounds in a week, but besides being unhealthy, it’s unrealistic. Set realistic expectations for what you can accomplish within the time frame.
- Avoid the same old resolutions – If you’ve resolved to lose 10 pounds year after year, it’s time to set a different resolution. Instead, resolve to exercise 3 times per week. This will accomplish the same result.
- Break your resolution into achievable tasks – Rather than focusing on one huge life-altering change, opt for smaller, more manageable changes that you can track and accomplish more easily.
- Create a plan of action – Once you know the steps you need to take to fulfill your resolution, decide what you’ll do first, then do it! Plan each step in advance so you’l know how to proceed as you reach each small goal.
- Don’t stress yourself out – Change, even good change, can be stressful. We’re creatures of comfort and stepping out of our comfort zones can create stress and anxiety. Strive to disallow stress from getting the best of you.
- Be prepared for setbacks – There will be days when your good intentions fly out the window and you return to old habits. All is not lost!! It’s just like riding a horse: When you fall off, get back up and trudge on.
- Reward yourself – Look for ways to reward yourself after every step is reached. It’ll build momentum because you’ll be looking forward to the next reward.
- Set a deadline – As with any goal, it’s important to have a timeframe in mind. Give yourself plenty of time to realistically reach your goal, but plan for a specific end date to work toward.
- Set a limit – It’s best to work on just one or two resolutions at a time. You’ll be able to focus your efforts without feeling overwhelmed with too much to do.
- Track your progress – This works especially well when you split your resolution into small, manageable tasks. Create a chart of your progress so you can see exactly how far you’ve come with each step you’ve taken.
- Write out your resolutions – Writing your goals and desires on paper has a strong effect on your psyche. It firms up your intentions and helps you focus more clearly. Take the time to write down your goals, step-by-step, to best achieve your resolutions.
- Visualize the results – Imagine yourself after you achieve your goal. What do you look like? How do you feel? Spend a few minutes every day visualizing your success and you’ll be amazed at how much quicker and easier your goals will be to accomplish.
- Hang in there. Never give up! – The going may get tough. You may have discouraging days. You may feel like quitting. But don’t. You’ve made the conscious decision to make the changes, so hang in there.
So there is it, your step-by-step guide to achieving your goals for 2017. By putting these strategies into practice, you’ll give yourself a chance at a great start to a wonderful new year. May your new year be filled with happiness, love and the change you desire.