Many have given up on new year resolutions. They are hurt by poor results, disappointments, and that resolutions rarely materialize. So, people give up on them altogether.
I am all for new year resolutions. But you deserve better. You can make the new year resolution a way of life, which will result in improvement continuously. Let me suggest a couple of ideas.
- Don’t think of new year resolution as just a target. While I believe in setting targets, but they are only part of the value you get from new year resolutions. You can ensure you benefit from resolutions when you add to the target a “way of life.” Let us use a simple example.
- Go ahead and set a weight goal for end of year. But do not stop there. Do the below steps too.
- Identify a direction. For example:
- I want to see a reduction in weight every week, even if small.
- I want to reduce eating at night.
- I will exercise three times weekly
- Identify things that can help you with the direction. For example ask yourself “what can I do to improve my chances on staying with the direction?” Think of specific things you can do to stay on course:
- Instead of waiting to go to the gym, I will start exercising at home using calisthenics.
- Instead of eating anything at night, I will stick to one healthy sandwich.
- instead of munching on chips, I will munch on veggies.
- Be loving and accepting of self and pat yourself on the back for the smallest improvement. If you have not done anything this week, don’t beat yourself for it. Be understanding. Look ahead and do better next week.
- Think of the quality of life you want to lead not just the results you want to achieve. Appreciate and build a way of life that you enjoy and build these into your goals. being more loving, more understanding, more positive, etc. think of things you can do to get you closer to this way of life:
- quit smoking
- spend time with people who are positive
- recognize others
- make positive statements and show positive behaviors
- Remember the Golden Rule:
Do not expect different results from same behavior. Change your behavior and your results will change.
- Sometimes you need to work with yourself not against it. For example, if you are trying to learn a new language and you are not having the time, find ways you can learn the language while doing other stuff. For example, find a novel that you have read before and enjoyed in the language you are learning. If you want to read books and cannot find time, start thinking about audio books to listen to while driving. If you need to study but unable to find time, look at new time slots you are currently not using efficiently. Like early morning, or late evening.
- Something is better than nothing. For example, if your time does not allow you to put one hour into looking for new work, put in 15 minutes. If you cannot spend an hour exercising put in 20 minutes, even 10 minutes. Anything. Just so you feel you did something. It will encourage you to do more in the coming days.
- Seek a balanced approach to new year resolution. Make sure you cover different aspects of your life: mental, physical, spiritual, family, professional, etc. Focusing on one without the others will lead to imbalance.
- Remember to always have gratitude for what you have to stay positive and hopeful.
- Pick activities that help you achieve multiple goals from same amount of time. For example, you can pray while doing a physical exercise, or meditating. You can listen to a book during exercise. You can get up and do a few exercises in the middle of the workday. You can take a walk after a quick lunch. etc.
Let me know what works out for you and what other tips you use to make your resolutions stick.