January 1st is quickly approaching and for many of us this means only one thing: The dreaded New Years Resolution.
So we thought we’d take some of the pressure off. After all, there is so much buildup for one little date—one little arbitrary date, at that—that it is no wonder some people feel overwhelmed with their resolutions! Matter of fact, about half of all American adults say that they are likely to make a resolution this year. Statistically, bout 65% of these folks will keep their promise for at least part of the year, but about 35% won’t even make it out the door. Why? Oh the pressure!
So how can you avoid becoming one of these 35%? Like I said, take the pressure off. January 1st doesn’t have to be the day that you start working on your resolution; it doesn’t have to be the day that you stop or start something cold turkey.
Because you are going to start your resolution early.
That’s right, rather than wait around for the dreaded first day of the New Year, why not start your resolution today? Take some of the pressure off, and by January 1st, you’ll be well on your way to the new you—whatever that looks like.
So start your resolution early and make it really, really stick this year with these eight tips.
1) Get started NOW. You have your resolution in mind, you know how you want to go through with it, so why sit around and count down the days until the first? If you start now (yes as in now), it doesn’t have to be such a Big Deal. Half the battle with a resolution is changing your mindset, so rather than dwell on your goal as something to conquer or worry about, just think of it as something that you do now. What is the simplest action that you can take within the next 24 hours that will get you started, or at least point you in the right direction, even if it’s something simple? If you start now, you won’t have time to think about it, dwell on it, or mourn the loss of a lifestyle that you are trying to change in the first place.
2) Get a big enough “why”. It’s important to get PUMPED UP for your resolution, especially at the beginning. If you can’t get excited about what you’re trying to do it won’t happen. Come up with as many reasons as possible about what will happen if you accomplish your goal as well as what will happen if you don’t. Just making a list won’t do it. Connect with all the reasons emotionally..
3) Get inspired. Along the same lines of getting excited about your goal, is creating something inspirational foryourself. You might put together an “inspiration board” or write out a list of things you will accomplish. Fill these things with pictures of what you’re aiming for; positive quotes; things that really matter to you! If you wanted to get strong would you work out once and call it a success? No, take a look at your masterpiece at least 2 times a day, when you wake up and before you go to sleep. Engage with it and feel the end result as if it’s already happened. Condition your body and mind to get into the right mindset to make things happen!
4) Celebrate every step of the way! If you’re like most people with a resolution this year, chances are it isn’t something simple like “take out the trash” or “see a movie.” Those are tasks. A resolution takes time, energy, and dedication. It might take you a month, three months, the entire year, or even five years to “complete” your resolution. But rather than think about this whole daunting Big Picture, just take it one step at a time. It’s important to celebrate each small success along the way. Think of some rewards that you can have along the way. They don’t have to be expensive but they do need to make you feel great.
Trying to lose 30 pounds? Don’t think about it that way. Take it 5, 3, or even 1 pound at a time. Reward yourself for the landmarks—maybe a new workout top for 10 pounds, or a book or CD you’ve been eyeing—and remember, with each celebration, you’re just getting closer to completing that Big Picture.
5) Be honest with yourself. Tell yourself ahead of time how much—of whatever it is—is too much or even too little and stick to it. For example, if you tell yourself you can have one cookie a day, stick with it. If you rationalize by saying “just one more…” just remember, you’re only cheating yourself.
6) Keep getting back up. A positive attitude is the key to success, which I know is sometimes easier said than done. Sometimes it’s hard not to think negatively when you mess up on a goal, but dwelling on a mistake will only make it worse. So say you miss a workout one day, you have that extra cookie, or you smoke that cigarette you said you wouldn’t. Well, take a minute to think about why you didn’t want to do that in the first place; focus again on your goal; and move on. If you beat yourself up for the metaphorical cookie, chances are, you’ll just make yourself want another one.
7) Get a little help from your friends. Research shows that things like happiness, quitting smoking, and even obesity can spread through networks of friends! So surround yourself with a positive influences and role models. Want more incentive? Check out this awesome article by Time, “Quitting Smoking is Contagious.”
8) Get a buddy. One step further than just surrounding yourself with positive influences, is actually working on your resolution with somebody. You and your buddy can keep each other motivated, on track, in check, and focused. Besides, life is just more fun with company.
So whether you’re trying to quit something, cut back, or start something new, these eight tips should help you on your way now.
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What’s your (early) New Year’s Resolution?
Sources: Time.com, Time.com/health, Time.com (article), TonyRobbins.com, Mangomoney.com