5…4…3…2…1…Happy New Year! Once that hangover wears off and you’re back to the normal everyday grind, you actually have to start working at keeping those resolutions you made for 2013. With a clean slate and a fresh start come January 1st, we all have high hopes of the new year ahead of us. Although you may be optimistic about what you can achieve during the next 365 days, many of us find that after a couple of weeks, our new years resolutions fall by the wayside. Don’t let that happen in 2013! Here are some tips to help you stick to your goals for the new year.
Small, smart and specific- The best way to keep your new years resolutions is to have attainable goals in mind. Large, far off or lofty goals that are broad in nature are much harder to stick to because there isn’t a clear path of how to reach them. Rather than making a new years resolution such as “enjoy life more”, find measurable actions that will lead to sticking to that new year’s resolution such as “listen to a happy song when I’m feeling down”. Create new year’s resolutions that are realistic and time-bound so you will be more likely to stick to them.
Put them out there- Another great way to stick to your resolutions is to let them be known in concrete terms. Rather than just thinking about what you want to achieve in 2013, make it a point to write down your specific goals somewhere where you can see them, as well as share your resolutions with friends or family. This will make it much more likely that you will hold yourself accountable to your new years goals, and be able to foster encouragement from outside sources. Other things you can do is start a blog to track your progress, or create a Facebook group that includes your friends so you can all help each other stick to your resolutions.
Visualize- Whatever your new years resolution is, it is something that you strive to attain to improve yourself. A way to continue on the track of sticking to your goals is to constantly visualize how it will feel once you reach it. Fall in love with the new you that will be achieved a few months down the road. To become internally motivated to move into the new reality after you reach your goal, you have to have the end in mind as motivation and inspiration.
Think short term- Our drive, energy and motivation to stick to a new year’s resolution changes every day. To ensure you will stick to your goals, think about them in the short term rather than how much farther you have to go. Review your resolution constantly and work on keeping it every day. We find it easier to do something every day than every few days, so make sure you keep your resolution in mind constantly, and strive to be successful with it just today. Soon enough, it will be a goal reached.
Celebrate and forgive- It’s nearly impossible to stick to a new year’s resolution 100% of the time. Before the new year comes, acknowledge that there will be some set backs in reaching your goals, but that it’s important to persevere. To make it easier to stick to your new years resolutions, celebrate when you make progress, and forgive and move forward when you experience a road block. No one is perfect, so we must keep a positive outlook if we happen to take a step backwards, as well as be proud when we experience success.