How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions
With the first month of this new year drawing to a close, many of us are already struggling to stick to our New Year's resolutions. What seemed like a great idea at the end of December is already becoming something of a drag by the end of January, and 11 more months is starting to seem like a very long time. In this article, we explore some ways to help you actually stick to your resolutions for once!
1. Know Your Limits
The most important factor in succeeding with your resolution is to be realistic about what you will achieve. For example, many people decide that they are going to learn a new language in the new year. If this is you, don't promise yourself that you will become fluent in reading and writing Fujian Chinese in 12 months! Pick a fairly modest goal and track your progress. If you are learning a language, master a few simple phrases by the first month, a few sentences by the second month, etc. If you are trying to get fit, start by exercising a couple of days a week, rather than committing yourself to 45 minutes every day. Don't give yourself impossible goals.
2. Get Help
The poet John Donne famously said that 'no man is an island', meaning that we all need help from time to time, and this is never truer than when we are trying to better ourselves. Usually with a New Year's resolution, our goal is to achieve something fairly difficult over a year, and even if you are the most disciplined person in the world, it is going to be difficult to keep this up without encouragement from your friends.
Many people believe that they are much more likely to achieve their goals if they tell other people about them. If you only say to yourself that you are going to lose weight, it's a lot easier to 'cheat', whereas if you tell the people at work, then maybe you won't be so quick to help yourself to donuts in the break room!
3. Reward Yourself
Another great way to keep up your resolution is to give yourself rewards along the way as you track your progress. Say, for example, your resolution is to sort out your finances, and you aim to save up $5000 by the end of the year. This is a lot less daunting if you break it down into monthly or quarterly targets. Additionally, if you set your quarterly targets a little higher than what they need to be, you’ll have extra at the end of the quarter. You can then reward yourself for being on track and spend X amount (that you pre-determine at the beginning of the year) on yourself if you reach your goal. Little tricks like this can give you things to look forward to and make a big task actually seem fun!
In this very short article, we have talked about a few simple tricks to help you complete your New Year's resolutions and feel good about yourself. Don't be overly ambitious, be willing to ask your friends for help, and reward yourself for your hard work.
Most important of all though is to remember that this is for you and if you stick to it, your hard work will pay off, and next December you can tackle some other thing you’ve been wanting to do!