It’s that time of year again – new year’s resolution time.
Most people begin the year with good intentions, that’s why they make resolutions. Sadly, too many of these resolutions go by the board in January.
Here are my eight best ideas for sticking to your 2014 resolutions.
1. Make your resolutions specific. You’ll be more likely to stick with a specific resolution. “Exercise for 45 minutes a day at least three times a week,” is a much better resolution that “Exercise more.”
2. Make your resolutions realistic. While it’s good to set stretch goals for yourself, a resolution that is too difficult to keep is demotivating, and one on which you are more likely to give up. Be realistic, set motivating resolutions.
3. Envision your success. Create a clear picture of what success will look like if you stick to your resolution. If you resolve to publish an article in a professional journal, get a clear picture in your mind of how that article will look in print – and more important, how you will feel when you hold that publication in your hands.
4. Create a plan for your resolutions. Figure out what you need to do to keep your resolution. For example, if you resolve to exercise 45 minutes a day at least three times a week, you need to decide which days you will exercise and when you are going to exercise on those days – first thing in the morning, at lunch, in the evening. A plan will help you stick to your resolutions. Work your plan every day.
5. Get support. It will be much easier to stick to your resolutions if you have some support. Share your resolutions with a couple of close friends. Sharing your resolutions has two advantages. First, they become more real and you become more committed when you say them out loud. Second, friends can give you the support you need to stick to your resolutions. They’ll be there encouraging you to exercise on those days when you just don’t want to. And, don’t forget to help your friends with their resolutions.
6. Keep a journal. Keeping track of your progress via written journal is a great way to stick to your resolutions. The mere act of recording your activity and progress towards your goals is a great motivator. You’ll be surprised at how far you’ve come when you look back on your journal entries from three months previous.
7. React positively to setbacks. You’re not always going to be successful in keeping your resolutions. That’s OK. You’re human. Responding positively to setbacks is an important key to success when it comes to resolutions. If you go off of your new eating plan, fail to exercise, or don’t get your first draft written on time, take a deep breath, recommit to you resolution and keep moving forward. Truly successful people respond positively to negative events.
8. Reward yourself for taking positive steps. Give yourself a pat on the back for sticking to your resolutions. If you exercise three times the first week, celebrate by noting this success in your journal and telling the folks in your support system. The same holds true for when you slip but get back on track. In many ways, getting back on track is a bigger accomplishment than sticking to your resolution.
These are my eight best pieces of common sense advice on sticking to your new year’s resolutions. Put them to work and you’ll be more likely to stick to your 2014 resolutions.
Read more posts by Bud Bilanich, Ed.D., The Common Sense Guy, a career success coach, leadership consultant, motivational speaker, bestselling author and influential blogger for JenningsWire.
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