A new year is a new beginning, a chance to recreate yourself, to fix what you do not, and to strive to be a better version of yourself. However, after the novelty of meeting the new year with a pledge to dedicate yourself to self-improvement has worn off, many slack off in the upkeep of their New Year’s resolutions. That ends now! This year is the year to keep your New Year’s resolution going strong for the entire 365 days. Here are some suggestions as to how to stick to your resolution.
To begin, write down your goals for your resolution. This will help keep everything organized, and will help to keep you on track. Starting with small resolutions can lessen the daunting prospect posed by large goals. The small things should be easily attainable, such as working out more, eat healthier, or saving more money. Also, make sure your resolutions are realistic. Remember, the point of a New Year’s resolution is to effect big changes over time, not to completely alter yourself in a single month. If you reach too far and too fast with your resolutions, it will be harder to succeed in the long run.
Over time everyone develops unhealthy behaviors and bad habits. Exchanging these bad habits with healthy behaviors may take some time, but you must not abandon the resolution because your personality did not change in one day. Work on ridding yourself of these unhealthy behaviors little by little by setting small improvement goals overtime. Lynn Bufka, who has a Ph.D in psychology said, “Setting small, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of a singular overwhelming goal on January first can help you reach whatever it is you strive for… Remember it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward, one step at a time,” in her reply to the American Psychological Association. Making realistic resolutions and planning to enact them gradually over time will greatly increase your chances of maintaining your resolution for the entire year.
In life as in New Year’s resolutions, the support of your loved ones makes every burden easier to bear. Share your resolution with your friends and family. Consider joining support groups that will help you achieve your goals. Having someone that you can share your struggles and successes with can ease any stress caused by self-improvement. Having such a confidante will make a resolution more easier to bear. Accepting help from others who care about you will boost your morale, and it helps manage any stress caused by your resolution. If you should feel unable to attain your goals, you can always seek professional aid. Whether for the mind or the body, professional help can help you to remain determined to accomplish your resolution. If you are beginning to feel down because you’ve made very little progress in your resolution, do not give up! Take a break by watching a funny movie, hanging out with friends, or doing a fun activity like reading or hiking. Taking your mind off the task at hand will increase morale and determination.
The best resolutions are not those that require you to commit one hundred percent. Take your resolution one step at a time. For example, if you are trying to eat healthier, you do not have to try to stop eating sweet things altogether. Connie Stapleton, Ph.D, is a psychologist in Augusta, Georgia, She told WebMD: “Absolutes like ‘I’m giving up on all sweets’ or ‘I’ll never use my credit card again’ set you up to try to get around your own overly strict rules,” What she has said is very true, instead of trying to do away with all sweets, try a less restrictive resolution to keep, such as only eating sweets on special occasion or using a credit card only when the situation is dire. Doing such will make even the largest parts of the resolution more manageable, and you will be able to keep hold of your resolution until the end of the year.