I’m sure by this point that most of you have already considered, many times, giving up on whatever you had resolved to do better in 2015.
Resolutions are easy to stick to for some people, and by the end of the year they will proudly assert their accomplishments. For the majority of us, resolutions are hard to keep, and it isn’t because we don’t care or we don’t want to keep them. We tend to give up our resolutions because our planning isn’t grounded, and life’s complexities make it difficult to keep them going.
Revise your resolutions
You might be asking yourself how you can make your resolutions happen, but no matter your doubts, trust me, you can do it. I used to make resolutions all the time and most of them ended up falling through the cracks because of some excuse or another. I’ve since learned a few simple tricks that have not only helped me accomplish my goals, but have allowed me to add to them, resolving to be better all the time.
One of the first things you need to do is to create goals and resolutions that are realistic and within your power to accomplish. You can’t resolve to win the lottery because gambling is about luck, not hard work. You also can’t resolve to travel somewhere if you don’t have the means to do so. Instead, choose a goal like “lose five pounds per month,” “start taking a yoga class” or resolve to save money every month to put toward your trip. These are goals you can control and goals you can then keep.
Trying to push yourself to do something you don’t care anything about is torture. To keep giddy at the thought of your resolutions, you should choose ones that you’re really passionate about. If the idea of running a marathon gets you excited and eager to invest the hard work to do so, then that is a goal you should be working toward. Look for motivation that stems from an innate part of who you are.
The pen is mightier than the treadmill
Now that you’ve honed your resolutions to those that are achievable and that you’re passionate about, you can write down the ones you have settled on. There is a lot of power in the written word. The energy behind putting pen to paper develops a finality and grounding to your goals that you’ll definitely need. Not only that, but you can always come back to it, reread them and cross them out as you go.
The next step is to focus on one goal at a time, starting with the goal that’s most readily accomplished. If you’ve written down that you want to lose five pounds per month, start eating healthier and run a marathon; eating healthier is something you can begin immediately at home. Once you’ve got the yoga ball rolling on that, you can start fitting in exercises that will help you lose weight, such as running. As you improve at running, it will become ever easier to reach your loftiest goal of running a marathon!
This allows for your goals to build on one another, opening doors into new ventures you never even thought of that can become next year’s resolutions. Taking them in steps helps you stay focused and positive instead of overwhelmed and discouraged by taking on too much at once.
Focus, discipline, happiness
The number one reason people give up on their resolutions is because they psych themselves out. Their goal is too hard, too much work, and requires too much time. It’s crucially important to catch yourself in those moments of self-deprecation and try to reverse the thinking. It’ll become second nature to stay disciplined and on track if you pay attention to when your mind wants to derail you.
Attain discipline in your life by developing a motivated routine. It starts with little things, such as setting your alarm every morning so that you can take full advantage of your day, not so you can hit the snooze alarm. Eventually your body will grow accustomed to waking early. Similarly, your mind will grow accustomed to a more positive outlook if you make an effort to acknowledge when you’re psyching yourself out.
This goes hand-in-hand with developing a support system with friends and family who can encourage you to stay focused as well as talk you through the tough moments of doubt. Even better, work side by side with a support buddy to accomplish a goal, such as
running as a team.
Developing a support system also holds you accountable for the changes you are choosing to make in your life. If other people know about your goals, someone other than yourself is monitoring your progress and it will certainly motivate you to try harder than you usually might.
There are also sites like aherk.com that will allow you to blackmail yourself into keeping your resolutions. Just upload an embarrassing picture of yourself, link the site to your account, and if you fail to check in with your daily goal, they post the picture to your timeline.
No matter the method, external motivation is an extremely powerful tool for sticking to your resolutions.
A new, resolute you
Don’t forget to keep writing! Whether it’s a simple list or journal entries that depict your progress, writing these things down will not only help keep track of how far you’ve come, but will definitely encourage you to keep going.
Again, this is a gateway that will eventually allow you to build on your successes, empowering you to commit to things you hadn’t considered before. The discipline, commitment and work behind making your resolutions come true will become easier and easier to achieve. Soon you’ll be celebrating the success you have and giving yourself a pat on the back often. Such self-affirmation is a huge part of the process, and you should acknowledge that you’re changing your life for the better.
If you’re buckling under the weight of your 2015 resolutions, take time to reexamine them according to these basic principles. You might just find that you where only weighing yourself down.