Sound familiar? These are some of the New Year's resolutions we hear from ourselves and others every year. We may find comfort in envisioning ourselves at the end of the coming year having achieved all of our resolutions, but rarely do we make it that far. For some, our resolve fails by the end of this week; and for many others, before the end of January.
We often begin the new year with hopeful and positive intentions, but breaking old habits is never easy! If you can relate to this struggle, keep reading. In this article we will share a few tips that may help you stick to your resolutions in 2020.
1. Tell others of your resolutions
By informing your family, friends, and colleagues about your resolutions they can support you and you can ask them to hold you accountable.
For example, if you decided to quit smoking this year and have been in the habit of smoking with your colleague on work breaks, you could let your colleague know of your resolution and request that they stop asking you to accompany them. If your colleague abides, it will help to remove the temptation to break your resolution.
If possible, it also helps to express your intentions to as many people you know. By doing so, you can motivate yourself to keep your commitments and follow through on what you have told others.
2. Limit the number of resolutions
It is an arduous task in itself to lose weight, quit smoking, or cut back on indulgences that you have grown accustomed to. It becomes even more challenging to attempt multiple resolutions at one time! To increase your chances of success, we would recommend focusing on only one resolution at a time. If you feel confident in your progress, then start on the next one - but be careful not to overload yourself. Stress is often a large contributing factor when we break our resolutions.
3. It is not a big deal when you make a mistake.
Losing a battle does mean you have lost the war and humans are not infallible. If your goal to eat healthy is temporarily derailed to enjoy some ice cream or pizza, that's okay. The important thing is that you can start the next day with a fresh commitment to the new habits you want to build. If you made it seven days before breaking your diet, you could try to extend your next healthy eating streak to even longer! This way you can keep a balance that makes it much easier to convert your resolutions into a habit.
4. Think in pros, not cons.
Your resolution is easier to maintain if you formulate it in a positive way and consider the effects it will have on you or your quality of life. Being specific in the way you devise your goals can put you in a better position to succeed.
If you can already foresee yourself having trouble keeping your fortitude, then form your resolution in a way that can help you evolve gradually. "I'm not going to eat pizza anymore" may not work as well as "I will only eat pizza once a month."
If you have yet to form consistent habits, refrain from jumping in too fast. "From now on, I have to exercise five days a week" is less achievable than "I will start exercising at least two times a week".
It is very difficult to form a new habit. Allow yourself some time to build up to what you want to achieve. Your New Year's resolution doesn't mean that you have to be the "new you" on day one.
5. Know clearly why you want to achieve something for yourself.
Do your best to remind yourself why you are committing to your resolution. Instead of "I'm going to quit smoking", think "I'm going to quit smoking because I want to be more active and play with my children or grandchildren."
It is easier to keep your determination if you can remember your long-term goals and why you want to accomplish those things. If you are not reminding yourself why you want to lose weight, it becomes more difficult to keep your resolve when temptations are presented to you. Define your goal and think about a result that is more positive than how you are currently living.
Think about your resolutions carefully and try to plan for how to handle adversity and stay motivated ahead of time. We hope these tips can help you get further with your New Year's resolutions in 2020! You can do it!