It’s time to change our calendars once again, which also means it’s time to come up with some great New Year’s resolutions.
Every year, the most popular resolutions include losing weight, quitting bad habits, or getting healthier. Unfortunately, more often than not – those resolutions taper off and are forgotten by the time February rolls around.
But some people make, and keep, New Year’s resolutions without falling off the wagon. What’s their secret?
The truth is, making changes can be difficult but are attainable by anyone. Here are some expert tips on how to choose a New Year’s resolution and follow through with it.
Tips on Choosing Great New Year’s Resolutions
Choose Something Realistic
Pick a realistic goal that you can achieve over the next few months. For most people, the most popular New Year’s resolution is losing weight. Pick a number that is realistic. You may want to lose 50 pounds, but choosing a goal of 15 pounds is more realistic and likely that you’ll reach it.
Make It Specific
When choosing a New Year’s resolution, make your goal specific. For example, setting a resolution that you will be happier or stop procrastinating is broad. Not only is it hard to measure, it’s hard to stick with. In fact, the more specific you can make your resolution, the better the chances you will reach your goal.
Actively Think About it Until it Becomes Habit
Setting a New Year’s resolution is only the first step. To be effective, you have to actively think about it until it becomes a habit. Whatever you have to do, remind yourself of this goal until it is set in your mind. Try posting a note somewhere you frequently encounter or tying a rubber band around a finger. The more you think about it, the faster it becomes routine.
Make Changes Incrementally
Depending on your resolution, the change may be extreme. For example, someone who has resolved to quit smoking might not be able to do it cold turkey from day one.
It can be more useful to start off limiting the number of cigarettes you have on a weekly basis. Gradual changes can be more effective than jumping straight to where you want to be. Engaging in extreme changes may cause you to give up altogether if they are too drastic.
No matter your goal, you have to be able to measure the progress. Find ways to note changes. For example, if your goal is to become less stressed, you might make it your goal to spend 10 minutes per day meditating. Keep a journal of your perceived level of stress with a number rating.
On the other hand, you can track physical changes like blood pressure, headaches, or back pain. If you find ways to measure changes, you’ll begin to see progress, which will motivate you to continue.
Talk About It
Don’t underestimate the power of social support. If you are making a New Year’s resolution that is important to you, talk about it with friends, family, and co-workers. Not only will they celebrate positive changes with you, they can help hold you accountable.
Don’t Give Up
Perhaps the most important thing is not to give up on your goal if you slip up. It’s normal to have fallbacks whenever changes are made. The more important thing is how you respond to those fallbacks.
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, here’s a quick list of common New Year’s goals to give you a good place to start.
10 Ideas For Great New Year’s Resolutions
- Get more active
- Eat healthier (including portions)
- Drink more water
- Reduce stress (make it specific, like adding meditation to your routine)
- Get more sleep
- Quit smoking
- Watch less TV
- Drink in moderation
- Learn a new skill
- Become tidier
If part of your New Year’s goals include being tidy, neat, or clean – we can help! Keeping your trash cans clean is a great start towards a successful New Year resolution!