By Darren Carter | EAP Counselor | The Village
‘Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions! As this year comes to an end, many of us are thinking ahead on how we can gain more fulfillment in our lives in the next. But if you are like many people, you thought the past year was going to be the year to make healthy changes and stick with your resolutions. Before that, it was the year before ... and so on and so forth.
According to Business Insider, approximately 80% of New Year resolution goals fail by the end of February. You don’t need to fall into that statistic this New Year. Here are some tips to keep you focused on your New Year’s resolution. Good luck! You can do it!
Limit resolutions: When implementing new lifestyle changes, it is important to start with one or two resolutions as opposed to several. By limiting yourself in the beginning, you will have more time to focus on your resolutions, not feel so overwhelmed, and you won’t be as likely to fail. Out of all the goals you have for yourself this year, which one or two are most important?
Set realistic goals: With each resolution, it is equally important to set realistic goals. If your goal is to lose weight, it is not realistic to lose 20 pounds each month. Whatever your resolution, define what your long-term objective is and begin setting realistic, shorter-term goals. If your goal is to save money for a vacation, calculate how much money you would need to save (long-term goal) and how much money you can put into savings each month (short-term goal).
Create a plan: Not only is it important to be specific when setting goals, but it is also important to create a plan for your goals. Scheduling time to work on your resolution can keep you accountable. If your goal is to exercise four times per week, planning ahead on what days and times you can go to the gym can keep you on track to accomplishing your goals.
Plan for setbacks: With any lifestyle change, success does not come easy. It needs to be worked on continuously. That being said, it is not realistic to accomplish all of our goals all of the time. The important thing to remember is that it is okay to have setbacks. It’s how we respond to setbacks that define our success. There will be times when you are unable to make it to the gym four days out of a given week. There will be a month or two when you are not able to save as much money as you want for that vacation. When you do experience a setback, try to get back on track as soon as you can. No need to overcompensate by trying to make up for what you missed. That will likely lead to burnout.
Start now: There is no better time to start working toward your New Year’s resolution than now, before New Year’s Day. Do not wait for motivation to magically happen when the clock strikes midnight January 1. Create your motivation now by starting to work toward your goals. Even if you have just a little success by the end of the year, it may be enough momentum to keep you dedicated to your resolution.
Reinforce small successes: A way to build motivation for your resolution is to reinforce small successes. What is a small thing that you can do for yourself to reward your success after each month? Perhaps treating yourself to dinner at a restaurant at the end of a successful month can help reinforce success for the following month. Be creative and choose something that will keep you motivated to accomplish your weekly and monthly goals.
The Village can help you and your family improve your mental health and wellbeing. Call 800-627-8220 or contact us online.