5 Ways to Set New Year’s Resolutions that You’ll Actually Stick To

Every year, people make New Year’s Resolutions, and every year, most people give up on their resolutions and “good intentions” within the first week!

It doesn’t have to be that way!

According to the latest YouGov poll, here are the top New Year’s Resolutions for 2018 were:

  • Eat better — 37 percent
  • Exercise more — 37 percent
  • Spend less money — 37 percent
  • Self-care (e.g. getting more sleep) — 24 percent
  • Read more books —18 percent
  • Learn a new skill — 15 percent
  • Get a new job — 14 percent
  • Make new friends — 13 percent
  • New hobby — 13 percent
  • Focus more on appearance — 12 percent
  • Focus on relationship — 12 percent
  • Cut down on cigarettes/alcohol — 9 percent
  • Go on more dates — 7 percent
  • Focus less on appearance — 3 percent

Are any of your New Year’s Resolutions on the above list? Would you like to know how you can better your chances of actually succeeding in keeping your Resolutions and achieving your goals?

It all comes down to planning and organization (yes, even if your goal is to get more organized).

So, here are 5 tips on how to achieve any New Year’s Resolution that you desire.

  1. Recognize that it will take time

Most people try to accomplish their Resolutions cold turkey, without any prior planning. They expect to be able to control their appetite overnight, or start jogging for 3 miles immediately, and so on. And the very first time they go off their diet, or miss a day of jogging, they shrug and give it up.

So instead of saying, “I will accomplish this in the first week of January,” let your resolution be, “I will start developing the habits I need to accomplish what I want to accomplish, starting the first week of January.”

As far as losing weight is concerned, there’s no need to go on “fad” diets and give up the food you love. It’s all about portion control, and finding a sport you like that you can participate in for the rest of your life – anything from tennis which can be played year-round, weight training (because replacing muscle with fat helps in losing weight and weight maintenance) and even biking.

Then, just take baby steps. As long as you’re taking two steps forward for every one step back, you will succeed in your goal, and as time goes on you’ll be taking three steps forward!

Take the example of losing weight. Too many people will go on a diet for a week, starve themselves, step on the scale every day for seven days, and when they haven’t lost weight at the end of that time, give up. That’s not the way to do it.

Experts say that losing 2 pounds a week is the only healthy way to lose weight, and depending on one’s age or metabolism, it could be only 1 pound a week or a half-a-pound a week. So losing 100 pounds would take an entire year! Once people who want to lose weight realize that it will take six months to a year and that they’ve got to be patient, their chances for success increase.

  1. Keep a journal of your plans, setbacks, and ultimate successes

Writing things down helps you make plans. Create revolving to-do lists for each day. (A revolving to-do list is very important. This means that if you don’t get something done on one day, you simply move it over to the top of your next day’s list, without stressing about it.)

It doesn’t matter if you get a notebook and write in that, or keep your journal on a computer, as long as you can access it easily.

  1. Recognize your Resolutions for what they are

The top 3rd resolution that everyone makes (according to the people polled by Nielsen, anyway) is to live life to the fullest.

What does “living life to the fullest” actually mean?

It probably means a different thing to each person who has that Resolution!

Does it mean that you want to buy whatever you want without worrying about the cost or the debt you’re running up?

Does it mean that you want to travel and see the countryside before you’re too old to enjoy it (but are currently too young to be able to afford to travel without hitchhiking and sleeping in a tent?)

Does it mean that you want to get married before the year is out?

Whatever it means to you personally, the way to live life to the fullest is to accomplish other goals that are holding you back.

Losing weight and getting fit will go a long way toward giving you self-confidence when it comes to meeting people, especially someone you’d like to acquire as a significant other.

Self-confidence will give you the impetus you need to go after that promotion you want, or to change companies and find a job that will pay you what you deserve. With increased pay comes the increased opportunity to travel.

  1. Replace old habits with new ones

Many Resolutions are defeated because we can’t get over our bad habits.

How can we lose weight when we have a habit of having a bowl of ice cream just before we go to bed?

How can we read more when we have to play a relaxing video game for an hour or so after coming home from work, before getting ready for dinner?

The key is to gradually change our habits. “Gradually” is the keyword here. Phase out that bowl of ice cream at the end of the night by making it half a bowl for a month or so, then a quarter of a bowl, then replace it entirely with carrots.

Set an alarm so that you play your video game for only 45 minutes, and use the next 15 minutes to read or spend time with family. Or, introduce your family to the games you’re playing and form a Team-Family to take on all comers!

  1. Combine Resolutions

Just as you can combine getting fit and losing weight, so you can combine “Traveling more” and “reading more.”

Simply start reading about where you want to travel!

Decide to read about the local sites – historical sites within a hundred miles of where you are. Too often when we think of “travel” we think of going halfway across country and ignore the beautiful sights and historical monuments in our own backyards.

And we find when we return from any travel that we didn’t enjoy it as much as we thought because we didn’t know enough of the historical background to appreciate what we were seeing in a museum. By reading up in advance, it will heighten the experience!

Give yourself time to accomplish your goals, and don’t give up at the first setback. Realize that it’s a process and that whatever you set your mind to, you can do!
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