How fleeting the resolutions of a fresh New Year can be. You know the story: you made the resolution, and you totally meant to keep it, but for whatever reason, you just didn't. It's a common tale. Motivation runs high following the turn of the New Year, and quickly fades in the face of reality. Last year, I made a resolution to quit smoking cigarettes. I was so nervous as to whether or not my 10th attempt to quit would come to fruition, but guess what--it did!
I have been smoke free for one year, and I couldn't be happier. I didn't gain weight when I quit, and stayed strong throughout the entire year! Here are my tips to help you set and keep your New Year's resolution! Happy New Year!!!
Keep It Realistic
Don’t go overboard making promises you can’t keep--that will only set you up for disaster. Keep your resolutions realistic, that way, when you meet your goal you will feel accomplished, and if you surpass your goal, you can feel even better.
Don’t make 20 resolutions
We all want to change things about our lives in an effort to be our best selves...but there is always a limit to how much we can do and when. Keeping this in mind, try to avoid too much change at once, Make one or two resolutions you can stick to, not a billion that will likely scatter your best intentions.
Tell people about it
Telling other people what your resolutions are makes you accountable for your choices. People will check in with you to see how you are doing, and knowing you have told people gives you extra incentive to follow through. Last year, when I quit smoking, I told everyone I was doing it, and when people asked how ti was going, I was proud to say that I was doing GREAT!
Replace bad habits with new, better ones
Most people seek to break a bad habit during the New Year, and that is wonderful idea. But I once heard Dr. Phil say that we don’t just break bad habits. Instead, we have to replace bad behaviors with ones that counteract the old habit, and hopefully there is a benefit that takes over.
So if your goal is to eat less unhealthy food, perhaps replace it with something that makes you feel good, like taking vitamins and exercising. And beef up your veggie tray in the fridge so you always have something healthy to reach for!
Make a list of benefits
Knowing why you are making a change in your life is one of the most important steps to helping you follow through on that change. Make a list of the reasons why you are making this change--even if the reasons may seem silly. This will help you reinforce your reasoning and it’s a great resource to look upon if you are ever feeling discouraged.
Set clear goals
When it comes to making any changes--big or small--it’s good to know what your exact goals are. Sure, we don’t always meet our goals spot-on, but that shouldn’t discourage you from making them! For instance, if your resolution was to organize a space in the house, set a date... say by April 1st. This is will help to motivate your change at a faster pace.
Be your biggest cheerleader
Doubt is a natural human emotion, but not one we should ever dwell on. We’ve all heard how important self belief is, but this can’t be stressed enough. Actively tell yourself that you can do it--even when you feel like you can’t. Say it over and over again in your head. “I am doing great with [fill in your phrase here]” should be your new mantra. When you believe, you can achieve.