You’re at a New Year’s Party. It’s in full swing. The countdown begins. “HAPPY NEW YEAR”. Hugs and kisses all around. Then the dreaded, “So, what’s your resolution?” You’re full of joy, it’s another new year. Your turn to speak, “I’m going to ________” Insert any goal to finish that sentence.
Next year the same thing. Don’t beat yourself up because it hasn’t worked out.
Here’s the thing, we’ve all been there. Does anyone ever keep them? Does anyone care?
Deep down you’d love to be in the same spot next year, 25 lbs lighter, no longer a smoker, and healthier to boot. Whatever goal you set, you’d be so proud. You’re a success. You’d be one of the only ones. All your friends/loved ones would revel in your success.
Make this the year you take control.
Make a resolution that you’ll succeed at.
What would you aim for if you knew you’d get it?
Here are 4 ways you can keep them.
1. Make a plan.
Yes, a plan! Don’t make a resolution, on the spur of the moment, while you’re at a celebration. Will you even recall what you said?
Write it out, before you go. Make it simple. Try a 3-step plan. Goals are more attainable if you write them down.
Here’s my example for quitting smoking:
- Set a date to start, not in the middle of a holiday season. Emotional events can make you stop before you begin.
- Get a prescription to help with nicotine withdrawals. They do work. I used a nicotine pill for 6 weeks and succeeded in being smoke-free for 7 years and counting.
- Change one major habit at a time. I can’t stress enough the need for one goal at a time. Your chances for success are better if you quit one thing first. Then a few months afterwards, you can set yourself up to quit another thing. I quit drinking for 3 years, before I tried to quit smoking. It would’ve been too stressful to do both at once.
2. Break your resolution down into increments of time.
You want to quit a habit.
Break it down by hour, days, weeks, or even months. Whatever works for you. It took years to get your habits, it can take years to change them. Don’t rush.
I broke a 28-year smoking habit, in 6 weeks.
Smoking 1- 1/2 pkgs a day when I began, my pills, Dec 22nd and by Dec 30th, I was down to 5 cigarettes a day.
By Feb 7th, I was no longer a smoker.
3. Every time you meet your goal, congratulate yourself.
A reward provides an incentive for each step of the way.
The pride you feel when you get closer to your final goal is cause for celebration.
You and you alone are responsible for this change.
Be proud. Your reward can be a simple checkmark on a calendar.
If you’ve saved money because of a habit you’ve changed make a date at a spa, or take a vacation. Celebrate you.
4. No law says you have to tell others what your resolutions are.
If you’ve enlisted your loved ones’ help before and not achieved your goals, they may find it hard to support you. There’s no fast rule that says you have to tell them, you may want to surprise them with your newfound success. This is about your movement towards a new improved you.
Find a support group, if it’s a hard habit to change. Most are online.
You can find help with any issue.
It’s important to find someone to encourage you when it gets tough. When you want that next smoke or an extra piece of cake.
Things to remember
Above all else, we all slip up on our way to self-improvement.
Even good diets have a cheat day. It can ease the pressure and help keep you focused.
If you do slip up, continue on. Realize it happens to everyone and move forward.
Don’t stay stuck in the moment. Don’t berate yourself.
Look at the triggers that made you slide. Now you’ve noticed them, watch how they occur and change your reaction.
You’ll be able to overcome them.
Life is full of stressors, learn to calm down and either ignore or step over them.
Treat yourself with respect, you’re a work in progress. We all can use some self-improvement.
Belief in yourself is paramount.
You know what you can do.
I’m cheering you on!
Happy New Year