How To Set a New Year's Resolution and Stick With It
The start of a new year is the indicator of a clean slate and encourages people to make changes. This is commonly done through setting a New Year's resolution. A New Year’s resolution is a promise that you make to yourself to start breaking bad habits and building new healthy habits.Some common resolutions include:
- Losing weight
- Sticking to a healthy diet
- Spending more time with friends and family
- Creating better budgeting habits
- Exercising more regularly
- Trying therapy
- Stop smoking or drinking
- Quit biting nails
It is about that time of the year to start thinking about your New Year's resolutions. Here are some tips to help you not only set a proper resolution, but make sure that you reach it!
Before setting your resolution, it is important to ask yourself some important questions. In order to be successful, you have to set a feasible resolution/goal.
For example, if your goal is weight loss, it is not realistic to set your resolution as “I will lose 20 pounds in 1 week.” This is not realistic and not healthy. You want to be as specific as possible beyond saying “I will lose weight,” but you also want to be realistic. Instead, make sure that you are giving yourself the proper amount of time to complete your goals around your everyday life and schedule. Being specific helps you keep track of your time and serves as a soft timeline to keep track of your goals. A better resolution might sound like “I will lose 20 pounds by summer.” Lastly, be careful with giving yourself super strict number cutoffs when setting resolutions. This will create fixations that can be unhealthy.Before setting your resolution, try asking yourself:
- Did you give yourself enough time to achieve the goal?
- Why am I working towards this goal?
- Will this work with my schedule?
- Is this something that makes sense for me financially?
- Is it something I can keep up with?
- Will I still want this for myself in a year’s time?
- Is this change healthy for me? Mentally? Physically? Emotionally? Spiritually?
- Who/What will help me achieve this goal?
- What things am I willing to let change?
- What things do I not want to change?
When getting started, gathering resources is a great way to help map out how you will reach your goal.
For example, if your New Year’s resolution is to create a budget, you will gather resources that help with that goal. You may look for books on how to budget better, join a group or club, or find templates for mapping out a budget. You may be interested in a financial advisor, a budget focused blog, or even videos on ways to save money. Before starting, gathering resources can help you feel more guided and prepared to make change.Potential resources:
- Youtube videos
- Clubs or social groups
- Social media
Have a Support System
Having a support system with people working towards the same goals or someone who knows you are working to change something can be beneficial. They can help motivate and support you. Connecting with someone who is working towards the same goals as you gives you an accountability partner. You can check in with each other to make sure that you both are on track and working towards your goal. You also can share tips and resources. This journey will not always be easy and you may reach points where you could use extra help or motivation. Having a support system makes sure that you are always on track and always have the tools you need to succeed.
Break Resolutions Into Smaller Goals
When you start working towards your goal, it can be overwhelming to think about where to start. Breaking your larger resolutions into smaller goals can help you devise a plan for where to begin and all the things you need to do to reach your end goal. Too much too fast can be unsustainable for your goal. Starting small is important for long term success.
For example, if your goal is to eat healthier, you do not want to jump straight into a new diet. Starting by replacing one item at a time is a great way to ease yourself into trying new foods.
In order to see the best results, it is important to commit to the process and give 100% effort.
- Write down your goal.
- Write 3 positive things that will happen upon reaching your goal.
- Why is this your resolution?
- Find images and quotes that relate to your resolution.
- Create a collage.
Hang this up somewhere where you will see it everyday as a reminder to yourself why you are working towards your goal. This will encourage you to stay committed.
Throughout the year, keep track of your progress towards your goals. This will be useful to you when you reach a point where you may feel like giving up or do not see how far you have actually come. Take note of your successes, struggles, why you are working towards this goal, and who is helping you reach this goal. Note positive and negative changes within yourself. All of this will help you self reflect and be a tracker for you during the year.
- Video diary
- Talking with a friend
Look at Past Failures
For the best chances at reaching your resolution, look at your past attempts at breaking your bad habits or trying to reach this new goal. What worked? What did not work? Ultimately, why did you not get to your goal? Looking at your past failures can help be a blueprint and advice to you to help you understand things that you do not want to do again. You may find that you need to alter your goal or that it was not reasonable. Past failures serve as corrections and motivation for you to reach your goal this time around.
Plan for Rewards/Celebrate Successes
Incentivize yourself and remember to celebrate your small successes along the way.
One way to remain motivated is to incentivize you to reach your goal. This will encourage you to stay on track. An incentive could be trying a new restaurant you have been wanting to try or buy a new book you have been wanting to read. Find something that you really want to celebrate your victories.
Support Your Brain Health This New Year
Here at Omega 3, we want to empower and encourage you to make the changes you want to see. We encourage you to prioritize and support your brain health as one of your resolutions for the new year!