January 1st has come and gone, and for many of us, so have our New Years resolutions. Did you know that 65% of Americans who make resolutions only wind up keeping them for a small part of the year, and 35% don’t even make it through the first month?
So whether you’re still going strong or need a little inspiration for your Resolution—or even if you never made one in the first place—here are some helpful tips to making and maintaining that New Years resolution. It’s never too late to get started, and it’s never too late to get back on that proverbial horse.
1) Remember the “why.”Remember how excited you were when you first made this resolution? Well that momentum got you this far. If you’re starting to struggle, just take a few minutes and really rememberwhy you made this resolution in the first place. If you can’t get excited about what you’re trying to do it won’t happen. It’s ok to reevaluate your resolutions as long as you’re not giving up on something you really want or need. 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.
2) “Re-inspire” yourself. Along the same lines of getting excited about your goal, is creating something inspirational for yourself. If you didn’t do this at the onset of your Resolution, it certainly isn’t too late. 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!
3) Keep celebrating your successes! 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. You’re already one month into the New Year—celebrate those successes and reward yourself for what you’ve already accomplished. These little rewards don’t have to be expensive but they do need to make you feel great.
4) Stay honest. When you first came up with your resolution, you probably made some rules for yourself. For example, if you told yourself you could have one cookie a day, you need to stick with it even now, one month later. If you rationalize by saying “It’s been a month, maybe I can have just one more…” just remember, you’re only cheating yourself.
5) Keep getting back up. A positive attitude is the key to success, which I know is sometimes easier said than done. If you’re starting to struggle with your resolution one month in, don’t worry—most people probably are too! Just remember, 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.
6) Remember your friends.Research shows that things like happiness, quitting smoking, and even obesity can spread through networks of friends! So keep yourself surrounded with those positive influences and role models. Want more incentive? Check out this awesome article by Time, “Quitting Smoking is Contagious.”
7) Keep up with your “buddy system.” One step further than just surrounding yourself with positive influences, is actually working on your resolution with somebody. If you’re struggling, give your buddy a call now (okay, if you’re at work, send a text or an email; we won’t tell…) The great thing about having someone to go through this with, is, well, going through it with them! So keep each other motivated, on track, in check, and focused. Besides, life is just more fun with company.
So whether you’re going strong, need to get back on track, or would like to start a February resolution right now, keep these tips in mind. After all, a little motivation never hurts!
How is your New Years Resolution going?
Sources: Time.com, DrinkersCheckup.com, AA.org, Time.com/health, Time.com (article), TonyRobbins.com