It’s almost the end of January. And if statistics and personal experience are anything to go by, most of us optimistic souls that began the year with noble resolutions have already forsaken them. In fact, according to a Forbes article, 1 in 3 will have ditched their resolutions before we even hit February!
So with no further ado, here’s some honest (and surprising) advice on how to keep your New Year’s resolutions going until the next New Year…
1. Be realistic
If you’re planning on basically becoming a different person, with a shiny new personality and a new set of strengths and talents, we hate to be the ones to break it to you, but you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Rather, make one or two resolutions and after conquering them, pick another one.
2. Be smart
After you’ve taken a good, honest look at how you’re wired – work with what you’ve got. Try to use your natural strengths to your advantage and cover your weaknesses by not simply trying harder, but by changing your game plan. For example, if you’re infamously always late, don’t think a resolution like ‘Never being late again’ will work. Think through what habits and mindsets need to change and set up new systems that factor in your natural tendencies. What exactly are you wanting to change? How will this happen? What practical steps will need to be taken in order to reach success?
3. Don’t give up
Whether your resolutions are amongst the most common (weight loss, exercise, quitting smoking and debt reduction), or whether you’ve chosen a more unique set of aspirations, keeping them is going to be tougher than you have even imagined. When the day has been long and the cake at the office begins to look oh-so-appetizing, or when you spectacularly relapse into unhealthy thoughts, bad habits or sworn-off vices, you’re going to have to dig deep to keep calm and carry on. Don’t let a little setback derail your great intentions, pick yourself up and start again tomorrow – there’s really no need to wait until next New Year’s to become a better you.
4. Power up your willpower
According to Joseph Shrand, a professor at Harvard Medical School, willpower is a muscle that can grow in strength. By exercising a little willpower every day, you’ll find that you have more restraint tomorrow. To put this into practice, choose a quick, easy-to-do task and start doing it every morning. Perhaps it’s 1 minute of planking, or 3 minutes of push-ups. Maybe it’s flossing. Whatever you choose, make it a non-negotiable activity. Performing this simple ritual day in and day out will lend unprecedented strength to all the other areas in your life that require willpower.
That’s it. Four straight-forward tips to making positive changes and maintaining them. Let us know how it goes!