If you’re like millions of Americans, you’ve made a resolution and you’re excited to get started on a new you for the new year. Whatever your goal – to lose weight, exercise more, quit smoking or save money – it’s what you do after the first few days of the year that will be the difference between resolutions that last and those that are quickly forgotten.
Want to make this the year you finally make a resolution and keep it? It is possible to do. You just have to want it bad enough and have a plan to achieve your goal.
Here are 10 tips to help you make 2019 the year of the successful resolution:
- Zero in on one goal. There may be many things that could use some “sprucing up” in your life. But you can’t change them all. Although it’s enticing to want to make many changes, it’s more likely you’ll take the steps you need to if you select just one important goal and focus your energies on it.
- Do a reality check. You need to be able to live with the changes you make so before you vow to exercise every day or stop drinking wine, be realistic about whether you’re actually going to be able to sustain the changes you’re proposing over the long term. If the answer is no, reevaluate your goals.
- Find your why. In order to make lasting change, you have to really want it. One way to help you stick with your resolution is to constantly remind yourself of why you want to do it. Knowing your “why” will help you get over hurdles you’ll face along the way.
- Write it down. It’s one thing to say you’re going to do something. It’s another thing to put it in wiring. Write down exactly what your resolution entails and what you have to do to achieve your goal. Then put it somewhere you can see it every day.
- Tell someone. It’s harder to give up on resolutions when you’ve told someone about them. Sharing your plans with other people makes you more accountable – and hopefully they’ll offer support along the way.
- Focus on the details. The more specific you can be about what you want to achieve and what steps you need to take to get there, the more likely you’ll be successful. Define exactly what you want to do and write down each small and measurable step required to meet that goal.
- Take responsibility. Whether you succeed or fail at your resolutions is solely dependent on you. Other people can give you advice, support or help, but it’s your actions that need to change to get the results you want.
- Reassess your goals. Your vision of what you hope to achieve on January 1st may change as the days, weeks and months go by. The best way to stick with lasting change is to regularly evaluate where you are and where you want to be – and then revise your plan.
- Celebrate each milestone. Breaking your resolution down step by step makes it more attainable. Celebrating your successes each step of the way allows you to recognize how far you’ve come and motivates you to keep going.
- Allow yourself to be human. The path to reaching a goal is rarely a straight line. It’s human nature to slip up on occasion or stray from your path. Whether a slip up is the end of the line or a minor detour depends on what you do next.