How to Keep your New Year’s Resolutions
Every January, we find ourselves inspired by the new year and ready to make a change. As the year marches on, however, it’s easy to lose motivation and let your resolution slide. Don’t give up! No matter what your goal is, you can achieve it. Here’s how to keep your New Year’s resolution throughout the entire year.
Start out by deciding to seriously commit to your goal. Try writing it down somewhere: putting your New Year’s resolution on paper will make it seem more real to you. You may want to consider telling friends and family as well. They can provide support and help you hold yourself accountable. I
Specificity is Key
Outline your goals as specifically as possible. You’ll be able to make a more realistic plan, as well as to measure your progress in a concrete way. Be sure you know exactly what it is that you want to accomplish, and then set parameters. Is it something you want to accomplish by the end of the year? Do you want to make a certain amount of progress each month? What does success look like to you? If you need some more guidance, we’ve got tips on how to set goals, here.
Have a Game Plan
Think about how you’ll go about it, and again, be specific. Keep the following in mind:
- Think about what’s most likely to work for you. Make sure your pace and goals are realistic. Some people prefer to kick bad habits cold turkey, while others find it best to start slowly by steadily reducing a vice or introducing a good behavior. For example, do you want to cut out desserts altogether, or cut down to one per week?
- Swap. Break a bad habit while simultaneously creating a good habit. Having a replacement ready makes you less likely to go back to your old ways. If you’re trying not to watch as much television, make sure you have something else to fill your time, such as reading a book or taking a walk.
- Make it easy. If you want to cut back on unhealthy foods, throw away what’s in the pantry. If you want to exercise more, lay out your clothes so they’re easy for you to grab in the morning. You’ll be less likely to make excuses if sticking to your resolution is convenient.
- Go digital. There are plenty of apps out there that can help you with your resolution.
Instead of making a resolution in January and forgetting about it until the end of the year, set up regular checkpoints to track your progress. You’ll be more likely to stick with it if you know a checkpoint is coming up.
There’s no consensus on how long it takes to kick a bad habit or create a good one; many believe it’s 21 days, while other research has shown an average of 66 days. Either way, it isn’t going to happen overnight, and, more importantly, it’s different for everyone. Just because a friend was able to accomplish their New Year’s resolution within a week doesn’t mean that you will, and that’s okay. Don’t give up if you don’t see immediate success, or even if you backslide a little bit. Just keep trying your best.
We wish you luck in accomplishing all the goals you’ve made for the year! Don’t forget to make your health a priority. Schedule all of your appointments and checkups for the year. If you need a new doctor, Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups has expert doctors in over 20 specialties to make it easy to find the right one for you.