Here we are at the end of the year. Looking back on the past year, we reflect on what we have achieved and what we hope to accomplish in the New Year ahead of us. People think about what their New Year’s resolution should be. Some people consider it seriously, and others somewhat jokingly say what they would like to accomplish. While many resolutions do not come to fruition, there are ways to achieve yours. New Year’s resolutions often fail because people do not set themselves up to succeed. You would not take a test or give a speech without some kind of planning or preparation. Let’s take a look at some ways to turn your resolutions from a wish into a realistic goal.
Put the Holidays Behind You
When the New Year comes, I often work with people that set one or more resolutions. Sometimes they say it in an apologetic manner, as if it sounds silly or cliché. They understand that many people set these resolutions but give up on them soon thereafter. Honestly, waiting for the New Year to set new goals for yourself is a good idea for several reasons. In the last few months of the year, the days begin to get darker, the weather begins to get colder in most parts of the United States, and the holiday season sets in (and with it comes stress, sweets, and large meals). As we head into January, the major holidays are behind us and the days (slowly) start to become longer again. The last few months of the year are usually difficult for most people and many people get off track with a healthy lifestyle. Don’t feel bad about making New Year’s resolutions; it actually makes a lot of sense!
Prepare and be Specific
Alright, you have decided that you are going to set one or two resolutions for yourself. Now how exactly are you going to follow through with them? Most people make resolutions with little thought on how they are going to reach their goals; unsurprisingly, this does not work. Before putting your resolutions into action, make a plan for how you will approach them. Set a time frame (Example: “For the next month…” “For the next four months…”), decide what days you will work on your goals (“3 days a week” “every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday”), and obtain what items you need before you begin (“gym membership” “Nutribullet”). Also, make sure to remind yourself of your goals to get into a consistent routine (set phone reminders, write notes on the calendar). By actually having a plan of action, your likelihood of reaching your goals increases greatly.
One of the great things about New Year’s resolutions is that many other people set them too. Everyone has a friend, coworker, or family member that has set a New Year’s resolution. It is a great opportunity to partner up with another person to help each other achieve both your goals. Accountability is vital to sticking with your routine and creating a habit out of your actions. Having another person to help you stay on track throughout the ups and downs improves your chances of reaching your long term goal.
Now you have a better idea how to actually make your resolutions into achievable goals. New Year’s gives everyone an even, fresh start to work on their resolutions. Your goals will still require hard work and may not always be easy. The more planning, preparing, and support you have the greater your chance of success. Best of luck on your New Year’s resolution!
CHES, ACE Health Coach, AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Consultant