Traditionally, the New Year is a time for rebirth. The days begin to get longer and pagans would originally be welcoming the return of the sun and Christians would welcome the birth of the Son of God. People can start over fresh this time of year with the ever so famous phrase – New Year, New Me – counting down the seconds till midnight entering into January 1st; symbolically moving on from their past.
So what does a “new me” instill? It takes change in a lifestyle for a person to be new. This change can be brought on by New Years Resolutions. The challenge is usually not seeing what needs changed in your life but how to be consistent with your changes to have a positive effect.
These are some of my tips on how to stay consistent with your new goals.
Tips to Keeping Your New Years Resolution
- Make your goals achievable
While this may seem obvious to most, it is one of the many reasons why most goals are not met. Many people will aspire to start working out everyday or stop eating/drinking certain foods. These are not achievable goals (to most people) because it is physically challenging for your body to take on such sudden change. Goals in these categories should start off smaller. I.e. Working out every Saturday and Tuesday. Or Limiting caffeine intake to 12 oz a day and then less as your body gets adjusted to the changes.
- Select one specific goal
Focus your attention to one main goal so you don’t get overwhelmed with the changes. Make your goal specific. It is easier to change your goal, or even forget about it if there are to many vague goals to focus on. Every year I have said that I was going to get abs (Not Achievable), eat healthy, no sweets, no soda, go to the gym etc. Lets just say… I may have failed every year. As the year goes on (the month of January) I would tend to tell myself “Its okay if I don’t go to the gym, I’ll save money and I can workout at home.” immediately followed by “I don’t need to work out if I’m eating healthy”. This would go on until I soon forgot what goal I was even working on. This is where it is important to be specific to one goal so you can be accountable to saying “I plan on drinking only one caffeinated drink a day for 3 months and then one drink every other day for 3 months, then one drink a week for 3 months. The last 3 months I plan to be caffeine free.” Specifics make planning and obtaining the goal more reasonable.
- Plan ahead
Make sure you are well researched on the information you need to properly achieve your goal. Almost every goal can benefit from planning ahead. Whether it’s quitting smoking, meal prep, better exercising, or taking up a new hobby or sport; having the right knowledge and equipment can only benefit you.
- Don’t stress over failure
If you have a cheat day or two, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed and your goal is un-achievable. It only makes you human. And once you’ve had a cheat day, it does not mean you can’t continue or try again. These goals won’t be easy, if they were, you would have already achieved them. Don’t be afraid to change your goal if need be. This doesn’t mean that you should make the goal easier once it gets hard but it does mean you can alter it as your lifestyle changes. I.e If you’re trying yoga every morning and you get a new job, change in time and frequency may be needed but staying consistent and persevering is important.
- Reward yourself
Monthly, quarterly, or yearly rewards will make working towards your goal more appealing. This reward can be new clothes for losing weight or a road trip with friends for cutting back on the amount of money you spend on nights out at bars. Whatever the reward, enjoy what you can and try your best