Establish Your Resolutions and List the Pros and Cons of Old Habits
First, decide what you would like to accomplish as you welcome the new year. Evaluate your current position and figure what lifestyle factors might need change in order to accomplish your goals and dreams. Think of both the short- and long-term effects of your resolutions, too.
Moreover, assess your exhibited unhealthy behaviors and habits; consider the instant gratification certain actions provide, and try to examine the pleasurable elements of that behavior and figure out ways you can attain enjoyment without engaging in the harmful behavior itself. During this time, also thoroughly dissect what has kept you from changing, failed past attempts, the why you want to change, and the actions necessary to change. Weighing both the pros and cons of encourage a more attractive view of new goals and the future.
Ignore Imperfection and Embrace Gradual Accomplishments
Be grateful for what you do accomplish, even if it derails from steps that are a part of your initial plan. The aim is to “reach the finish line,” whether you walk across it or run across it. Accomplishing a goal is just that—as long as you are heading in the right direction, there is no need to focus on the ways you could have done better. For example, if your goal was to increase your physical activity from once or twice a week to six days a week, but you could only manage four workouts one week, acknowledge that you have still improved.
Aim for Sustainable Changes
It can be an exciting time—finally setting a goal(s) and becoming eager to get things going. You might feel tempted to start strongly, and that speed is integral to reaching your goal faster. Fact of the matter is, that method is not maintainable. As experts from Harvard Medical Health Publishing put it, “small steps move you forward toward your ultimate goal.” Create lists and set short-term, minimal daily goals. Try to not deride the “easier” decisions/route. The steadier and more consistent the journey, the better and more effective. Disintegrate the bigger tasks and feats and take them on piece by piece. Moving forward at full speed until reaching exertion might not yield the outcome you desire.
Additionally, be sure to reward yourself along the way; celebration is not reserved for the endpoint of your long-term goals. You can reap the benefits of your determination by honoring every short-term change. Keep in mind that every small step should be regarded as a success.
Hold yourself accountable. If need be, share written or verbal promises with yourself and important people in your surroundings that you do not want to disappoint. Seek relationships with others who have similar goals as well.
- Harvard Health Publishing site. Seven steps for making your new year’s resolutions stick. Updated 24 Nov 2020. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/seven-steps-for-making-your-new-years-resolutions-stick. Accessed 12 Jan 2021.
- Northwestern Medicine site. The keys to keeping your resolutions. Healthy Tips. https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips/the-keys-to-keeping-your-new-years-resolutions. Accessed 12 Jan 2021.