7 Great Ways to Keep Those Resolutions
If you remember from my last article I asked you to start thinking about those resolutions… So, did you do it?
Chances are that if you’re like most people you may have thought about it briefly, but little else. That’s a start, but you may need to do a touch more to help you follow through on those resolutions:
- Make a list. Too often we will try to keep our resolutions in our head. It doesn’t work like that unless you have an eidetic memory. Put it on paper, on your desktop, or whatever. You want to see this list nearly every day to remind you of your goals. Take it even a step further and share your goals with friends or family. Have them help keep you accountable for the goals you set, and you should do the same for them.
- Make sure that your goals are attainable. Don’t say that you are going to save $25,000 this year when your salary is $30,000. That sets you up for failure before you’ve even started and not only will hinder you from reaching that goal, but is also more likely to make you give up on the rest of your resolutions. Studies indicate that by the end of January 36% of us who made resolutions have given up on them. That is in large part due to being unrealistic in our expectations.
- Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps. Make sure that you have resolution goals set up in steps… very small ones. You can’t go from couch potato to triathlete in a few days. You train in small steps. All of your resolutions should be set up that way as well. Ramp them up slowly.
- Quantify them. Rather than simply knowing you need to go about keeping your resolutions with baby steps, actually make those quantifiable steps part of the resolution. Instead of “Lose 10 pounds by Summer”, do something like this: Lose two pounds per month by July 4th.
- Make a detailed plan. To take that step even further plan out exactly HOW you will go about losing that weight. Something like “Jog every other day for 15 minutes after work. On weekends jog for 20 minutes and do 20 push-ups and sit-ups afterwards.” The more detailed it is the better. Make it so that you have almost step-by-step instructions to follow. That way on days that you’re tired, or just not feeling the best you know exactly what you should be doing. If a day or two has to be skipped, you now know exactly how to catch up.
- Track your results. Know how far you’ve come towards your goals, and how far you still have to go. Seeing your goals get closer and closer will help to drive you, and keep you focused.
- Patience and sacrifice. If you’re making resolutions you absolutely must be patient with yourself. Remember the old saying “It takes 21 days to make or break a habit”? Well, studies are now finding that false. It is much closer to 90 days. Those first three months are the hardest and are when you will actually feel the sacrifices you need to make. Whether it is saving money, losing weight, or getting organized you will have to alter your lifestyle and make changes.
I wish all of you the best of luck and encouragement on your resolutions this year. Change is hard, but life can be as well. We can’t just give up on life when it gets tough, and it is the same with resolutions. If you have a week of slipping up then try to make it up in the following weeks. You can do it. Happy New Year everyone.
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Travis Rougier is a modern day Renaissance man. Tech guru. Real estate expert extraordinaire. Purveyor of Amazing Things. Heliophile. Father of three. I write on my own blog here.