Many people begin the New Year by making resolutions. We’ve all been there. We take a vow to lose weight, exercise more or spend more time with our friends and family. We start the year with great intentions, but then we quickly relapse into old habits. Why is it so hard to stick to those New Year’s resolutions?
Here are some ways you can make your intentions a reality this year:
1. Write down your intentions and keep them in a visible place, like taped to your bedroom mirror or the dashboard of your car.
2. Get to the source of whatever is keeping you in a rut. Are you in a stressful relationship that causes you to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s every night? Are you stressed at your job and feel too tired to exercise after work? If you don’t tackle the root of the behavior, it will be much harder to accomplish your goal.
3. Be clear about what your life would look like once you achieve your goal. If you resolve to go to the gym more, how will this benefit you? Get connected to the result of your action, and you will be more likely to stick with your plan.
4. Share your resolutions with friends and family. Hold each other accountable for achieving your goals. If you want to go to the gym more, have a friend call you two or three times a week to check on you or invite them to join you.
5. Reward yourself with every little accomplishment. If your intention is to lose weight and you lose 1 pound a week, pamper yourself with a massage. However, it may not be smart to reward yourself with Ben & Jerry’s if you are trying to loose weight.
Big changes do not require big leaps. Permanent change is more likely to happen gradually than through one big restrictive plan. Gradual change is also more sustainable and results in a lifestyle change. Allow yourself to climb the ladder one rung at a time.