Every December the time comes – the time to make your New Year’s resolution. Whether your plan is to get a gym membership, quit smoking or eat healthier, most resolutions unfortunately end the same way — with less than 8% of people actually accomplishing them.
Luckily for you, achieving your New Year’s resolution is possible if you have the right tools. It may not be easy at first, but it will certainly be worth it in the end! Here are a few ways to help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions.
Know You Can’t Have it All
Most people think that the minute the clock strikes 12 on January 1st, they are going to change their entire life. In reality, most people can’t make complete lifestyle changes over night. Instead of deciding that from now on you will eat perfectly, wake up early, and workout every day, start by making small changes. Start off with one goal. Once you have reached that, add another one, and so on.
Have a Support System
Whether it’s just the encouragement of friends and family or you choose to join an actual support group, everyone needs help. Research has shown that people who have support close by are the most successful in their diets. Not to mention, your friends and family will probably benefit from your healthy lifestyle change as well!
Keep a Record
It can be easy to get into the habit of saying, “Today was just really busy, but tomorrow I’ll definitely get to the gym.” Then suddenly you realize it’s been over a week since you’ve gone. The best way to prevent the time from slipping away is to keep a calendar dedicated solely to your goal. Mark off the days you accomplished your goal and the days you didn’t. Schedule checkpoints for yourself and keep measurable track of your progress.
Have a Visual
Is your goal to lose weight before the summer comes? Keep the bathing suit you want to wear out on your doorknob as a constant reminder of what you are working towards. Kick it up a notch and try the bathing suit on every few weeks.
Know There Will Be Setbacks
There will be days when things don’t go the way you planned – and that’s okay. Instead of beating yourself up for one drag of a cigarette or for eating a few cookies, just use it as a reason to keep pushing yourself harder. It can be especially hard to maintain your resolution when you’re around certain people or events. If you can, avoid them. If you can’t, plan ahead and give yourself a cheat day. If vacation is coming up, give yourself a little wiggle room in your diet and make another start date for when you get back.
Maybe you take a weekend trip somewhere, buy yourself something new, or just play hookie from work for one day. Sure the best reward is your new healthy lifestyle, but a tangible reward will keep you pushing to make yourself better and better. Have you really been doing well? Maybe try rewarding yourself with a few chocolate covered fruits!