As we get closer to the New Year our thoughts tend to turn to the mother of all good intentions, the New Year’s Resolution.
Before you pledge allegiance to being your best in 2017, keep these few things in mind to help set you up for success.
1) Set small goals.
Creating a huge, life-altering change in your daily routine is a lot to ask. If you’re not at all in the habit of working out and make the resolution to go to the gym five days a week, accomplishing that is going to take some major changes in your life. It may be better to start with something simple, like stretching every morning, or making your goal going to the gym once per week. This doesn’t mean you can’t go more often, but it makes your resolution easier to keep.
2) Set specific goals.
“Eating better,” for example, is a good idea but is too abstract to be easily accomplished. Setting a specific goal will help you be more successful. So rather than having the goal of “eating better” commit to eliminating fast food from your diet, or adding a serving of vegetable to every meal.
3) Make your resolution positive.
Try to avoid using words like “don’t, stop, never, lose, etc.” these words all address subjects that you wish to reduce or eliminate from your life, so why not start by eliminating the subjects from your language? Instead of saying, “stop being messy,” say, “keep my bedroom tidy.” Or rather than, “don’t spend so much money,” try, “add $50 to my savings each month.”
4) Write it down.
Now that you’ve got your small, specific, positive resolutions, it’s time to get committed to them. Grab a pen and paper and in your own handwriting commit to your resolution in a tangible way. It’s also a good idea to keep your resolutions in a visible spot as a reminder. Don’t want to display your resolutions, no problem, just keep them near your bed and revisit them in the morning or before you go to bed.
5) Make a plan to get back on the wagon.
You’re human. You are flawed. We all are. If your commitment to getting more sleep, or what ever your resolution may be, gets ignored for a few days or a week, don’t abandon you’re resolution altogether. Forgive yourself then be ready with a plan to get back on track as soon as possible.
Need some help picking a resolution?
Here are a few ideas.
- Get 8 hours of sleep at least 3 nights per week
- Stretch for 3 minutes every morning
- Borrow a Beginning French lesson program from the library
- Eat a portion of vegetables before lunch and dinner
- Write down three things you’re grateful for every night before bed
- Read 10 pages of a book each day
- As soon as possible after you receive a gift, sit down and write a thank you note
- Tidy up your room before you go to bed on Mondays and Thursdays
- Sign up with community education for a mindful meditation course
- Find a cause you’re passionate about and volunteer to help once a month
- Start your workday by filling up a bottle of water and sip in it all day