It’s that time of year again—that time of new beginnings, inevitable change, and, yes, New Year’s resolutions. It’s what we did at the beginning of 2011, and it’s what we’re doing now that 2012 has begun.
Of course, although everyone makes New Year’s resolutions, not everyone keeps them. We make them every year and strive to keep them, yet keeping these promises to ourselves never gets any easier.
So what’s the big secret? What must be done to keep up the momentum you feel when you made the resolutions at the end of December before embarking on the journey of 2012?
Here are some tips to keep your eye on the ball and finally make the changes in your life you may have wanted, and tried, to make for years:
1) Choose specific and realistic goals. Don’t make a vague goal, like “I will lose weight and get in shape”, because it’s not specific enough. You need to make a concrete goal, such as “I will lose 10 pounds by June”.
2) Outline a plan that will help you stick to accomplishing your goals. Include consequences for not keeping to the goal.
3) Write your goals down. Writing them down makes them more concrete.
4) Take small steps. Don’t take on too much at a time—that will most likely spread you thin and bring you farther away from accomplishing your goals.
5) Get support from family and friends. Talk to them about your goals and let them motivate you! A great support system can mean the difference between success and failure.
6) Be persistent. Don’t let small stumbles along the way get you down. These stumbles are normal! Don’t beat yourself up over them or wallow in self-blame. Instead, view them as temporary setbacks.
7) Work on one resolution at a time; take it step by step, not all at once. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
8) Keep your focus!
9) Want to make the change. People who genuinely desire to make a change in their lives are those who feel the need to change from deep within, and that drives them to keep their goals.
10) Try, try, try! Setbacks will come and come again, so remember to keep trying and don’t give up!