It's that time of year again: time to start all over and make some new goals! One of the most common New Year's resolutions is making a change in health and wellness, but maybe yours includes making more time with your loved ones or leaning a new skill. Whatever it is, you'll want to look back in a few months and be proud of what you've accomplished.
Make your New Year's resolutions stick with these ten tips:
1. Set realistic goals
This isn't the time to do something drastic if you want to succeed. Take some time and be thoughtful about what you can realistically accomplish. Break up your big goals into monthly or weekly objectives that won't be too difficult.
2. Write it down
Once you know what your goals are, write them down (and don't lose track of them!). There's something about writing down a resolution that makes you want to hold to it, like it's a commitment. Keep your commitment displayed somewhere highly visible, so you won't forget.
3. Measure your progress
Keep track of how you're doing; otherwise setting a goal becomes a bit meaningless. And since you've started the habit of writing things down, continue to log how you're doing on a regular basis (daily or weekly works best). Some goals you can measure include how frequently you work out, what you've eaten over the course of the day, and how you've spent your time in a given week.
4. Use visual reminders
What is going to motivate you day after day, week after week, month after month? Put up a picture or lay out a dress you want to put into; display whatever it is that is going to inspire you.
5. Invest in yourself
Sometimes making a change means making a financial investment; do it! Buy the equipment, sign up of the class, or do what it takes to keep you on track. You're worth it.
6. Stay inspired
Aside from a visible reminder, find ways to inspire yourself regularly. This can mean signing up for newsletters, joining a class or going to meetings, or finding other ways to be inspired by others' success.
7. Make it a habit in your routine
You aren't going to make much progress if you don't make room for your resolution in your schedule. Build a new habit by making room for it in your daily routine.
8. Make it a team effort
You'll much more likely to be successful and have a lot more fun if you enlist others to help you along with your resolution. Eat healthy meals with friends and family; have a workout buddy; do things that count with the people you care about.
9. Take small steps
Some people make the mistake of wanting to see all of the change at once. But you're much more likely to be successful if you take small, manageable steps. When you're feeling frustrated because you've plateaued or lost momentum, just do what you can at that moment. Take that morning walk; skip the dessert; write in your journal – whatever it takes to keep going.
10. Treat yourself
Congratulate yourself when you make progress – you've earned it! Do something that's meaningful but won't detract from your goals. For example, if you've lost weight, don't go get ice cream. Buy that dress smaller dress instead.