Whether it’s going on a diet, getting into shape, or spending more time with family, New Years resolutions are what everyone hopes to achieve but no one puts in the work long enough to make a difference in their life. And yes, I realize January is almost over and resolutions have probably already been broken a few times. That’s why this post is all encompassing, highlighting 4 key steps to sticking to any type of commitment or goal.
1. Be Specific
Unfortunately, saying “I want to lose weight” isn’t going to cut it this time. Making goals specific is what makes them achievable. Make a plan for yourself. How much weight do you want to lose? When do you want to loose it by? Of course, this is just an example but answering these goal-specific questions creates the outline for a practical plan. Not to mention, being general will make a resolution seem never ending, draining you of determination and drive.
2. Take Baby Steps
Instead of always focusing on the long term commitment and how far away the end seems, get through today. And when tomorrow comes, get through that day. I know from personal experience that thinking “I have to do this for a whole year” is discouraging. Just breathe and take things one day at a time.
3. Be Held Accountable
If you don’t trust yourself to keep your hands out of the cookie jar, share your resolution with a close friend or family member that is willing to dish out some tough love when needed. Explain to your confidant why your commitment is important to you so they will be encouraged to check in with you every day, making sure you’re sticking it out. And if someone else holding you accountable isn’t enough, set reminders for yourself throughout the day that will act as your mind’s refresher.
4. Be Encouraged
Commitments are hard, especially long term ones. It’s easy to lose the determination that make goals achievable which is why it’s important to celebrate small victories and be proud of yourself. Be proud of yourself for eating a salad instead of a cheeseburger! Be proud that you spent time with your family instead of watching Netflix in your room! Woo hoo, you made it through the day! Sometimes, self-encouragement is the best type there is because if you don’t believe in yourself, others believing in you won’t make much of a difference. Telling yourself that you rocked it, and genuinely believing it, will help you feel capable and empowered and will give you a fresh set of determined eyes.
At the beginning of a resolution, it’s easy to give up, especially when you can start again the next day. But if you keep telling yourself that you’ll start the next day, life won’t change.