Creating a resolution for the new year is the easy part. Sticking with it may be harder than you may think. Most people’s resolutions fizzle out by the end of January, if they are lucky to make it that long. Here are 10 tips for Sticking with Your New Year's Resolution that will help you stay the course and see your goals through.
10 Tips for Sticking with Your New Year's Resolution
Be realistic. Don’t make a goal you know you will not be able to stick with. Making your goal something that is realistic for you will make for a much better outcome.
Take baby steps. Along with making your goal realistic, make it achievable by setting smaller goals for a much longer term one. For instance, if your goal is to cutout lots of sugar from your diet, start by cutting out one thing that you eat a lot of sugar in, such as soda.
Tell others your goal. If you tell other people what your goal is, they can offer support and keep you accountable for yourself.
Gather support materials long before New Year’s day. If you are quitting a tobacco product for instance, stock up on sugar free gum, low-fat snacks, and start a hobby to replace this habit. Being prepared will help you reach your goal by giving a sense of feeling ready.
Take one day at a time. Did you know it can take up to 30 days of change in behavior for something to become a habit? If you expect to see results in just a week or two, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, try to just get through one day at a time and soon you will notice it gets easier and easier.
Give yourself room to backslide. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you fail at first. Just get back up and try again.
Don't expect quick results. With health goals especially, know that it took you many years to fall into bad habits. Therefore, it may take many months to years to completely break them. Don’t let this stop you.
Celebrate and reward your efforts. Even if your achievements seem small, celebrate them. For instance, if your goal is budgeting and you managed to not overspend for a week, treat yourself to something small (and within budget of course). Doing this for the first few months or so will motivate you to stick with your goal, even when it gets hard to do.
Toss out anything that reminds you or allows you to continue in your old habits. Refuse to buy these items again. This way they are not there to tempt you.
Seek group support in your community. Outside of family and loved ones’ support, look for group support from others who may be trying to change their habits. This means joining a gym (if weight loss is your goal) and taking classes, joining a quit smoking group if it makes sense, or even finding a group activity or class that can assist you in your new life goals. Let’s say your goal was to coupon. Attend a class in your area to meet others who have similar goals and you will build a support system for this new lifestyle change and make some like-minded friends.