Now that you are able to make resolutions (and good ones), it’s time to learn how to make those resolutions stick. It’s already the middle of January, so how are you doing with the resolutions you made a couple weeks ago? Have you already forgotten them, or are you surprising yourself by continuing with whatever you chose to improve this year? I hope you’re not already struggling with your 2014 goals and resolutions, but if you are, read the following tips so you can break your normal habit of dropping your resolutions so soon.
Before Making Your Resolutions
I realize many of you have already made your resolutions, but some readers might still be deciding on how they want to spend 2014. Whether you’ve made resolutions or not, I have a few tips about how to ensure that they will stick, even before making the resolutions.
- When you make resolutions in the way that I outlined in my previous New Year posts, write them down in many different places. If you place a small note that reminds you of your resolution on your bedside table, your bathroom mirror, your office desk, and your steering wheel in your car, you will remember it more, so you will be more likely to continue fulfilling your goals.
- Write out a plan for how you want to implement your resolution. As you know from my previous posts, resolutions similar to “get healthier” or “become organized” are too vague and general. If you write out a weekly or monthly goal for larger resolutions, you should be able to take one bite at a time and complete the resolutions by December 31.
- Tell your closest friends and family. According to Ashley Williams from the USA Today Network, telling others about your goals and aspirations for 2014 could benefit you in the long run (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2013/12/27/keep-new-years-resolutions-goals/4192127/). People who are close to you can help keep you accountable throughout the year by encouraging you and reminding you of why you wanted to accomplish these goals in the first place.
During Your Resolutions
Unfortunately, making resolutions at the beginning of the year is not enough to fuel ourselves for the whole year. We can give ourselves pep talks, write down our resolutions, and ask friends to keep us accountable, but we need to work hard throughout the year to keep up our resolutions.
- Record your year. Many basic tools exist that can help track your resolutions’ progress. For instance, purchase a calendar to plan how you will accomplish your resolutions week by week or day by day. You could also make a weekly or monthly checklist of items that you can check off as you achieve them along the way.
- Reward yourself for small accomplishments. Another way to record your progress in 2014 is by rewarding yourself after completing certain steps of your goals and resolutions. If you decide to reward yourself by purchasing a new book, spending time with friends, or doing something similar, you will be more likely to continue your resolutions.
- Don’t be discouraged if you get side-tracked. We’re all human, so if you slip up and miss a few days or weeks, this is completely normal. What many people do, though, is decide that it’s too difficult to continue their resolutions, so they’ll start again next year, next month, etc. Instead of giving up, read your resolutions and your plans that you wrote at the beginning of the year and talk to the people you confide in so they can help encourage you to continue. Remember why you decided on these resolutions in the first place, and continue them, no matter where you are in the year.
I hope all of you have made resolutions and are still continuing them from a few weeks ago, when the New Year began. However, if you have made some resolutions and have already slowed down your progress, then I would encourage you to follow the tips that I provided here. Some of you might not have made resolutions or goals for 2014 in the first place; I hope that this post has reminded you of why it’s so important to live life with goals. Feel free to leave comments and share what your New Year’s resolutions have been in the past, what they are now, and how they’re different. We want to know how your 2014 year is going and how we might be able to answer any questions you have about resolutions and goals.