So you’ve done it, you’ve made the resolution. You wrote it down, you told all your friends and have built up the determination, under the glow of a brand new year, to stick to it, and your feeling pretty great about it. And then the holidays end, the work starts again, and slowly the idea of that new years resolution starts to feel as appealing as having your wisdom teeth pulled by your six-year-old nephew. Your motivation falters and by then end of January that resolution is pushed to the back burner along with years of other forgotten good intentions.
But this year can be different, as we look at ways to help keep those resolutions, no matter how big or how small, through the coming weeks and into the rest of the 2013.
Whether it’s a small piece of chocolate at the end of each day, a new outfit at the end of each month, or a new car at the end of the year, setting up a reward system is one of the best ways to help keep your motivation up when it comes to sticking to your goals. Write your reward down and keep it in your wallet to look at during those moments when you might be tempted to fall by the wayside.
Chart your progress
Whether you are giving up smoking, trying to shed a few pounds, or simply wanting to devote more time to your family, make sure to have a visual day-to-day reminder of how well (or poorly) you are doing. A small diary devoted strictly to your resolution, that is filled out each day with the high’s and low’s of your progress, is a great way to help keep yourself motivated throughout the year.
Have some me time
Set aside a space of time each week, or even each day, that is devoted completely to you and something you love to do. Whether it’s just a simple bubble bath, an hour of reading or a weekly yoga class, make sure to take time to yourself to indulge. You’ll be surprised how refreshed you’ll feel and how much easier it will be to refocus your attention on holding onto your resolution.
Let yourself falter
So you consumed an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s during a post-breakup cry-fest or you slipped and bummed a cigarette off a co-worker during a particularly stressful day. So what? Do not beat yourself up over small failures. No one is perfect. Take the experiences, judge what led to them and learn how to deal with them in the future.
Be realistic¦all year long
Ensure that you are constantly reevaluating your resolution throughout the year. If you find yourself constantly slipping then maybe the task at hand was too big in the first place. There is no problem altering your goal to something a little more attainable, but that will give you the same amount of self-satisfaction in the end.