Making New Year’s resolutions are easy. It’s keeping them which poses the real problems regardless of whether it’s stopping smoking, losing weight or saving money. Yet there are easy ways to keep your New Year’s goals by following these simple steps.
Set Realistic Goals
Like so many things in life, you need to take a careful look at what you want and what you need. Generally speaking what we want tends to be more than we actually need. That and you should really look deep into the why of the want. Be honest with yourself and try to zero in on what it’s you really are looking for in the new year.
Also, beyond making realistic goals, try to keep the amount of goals to a minimum. Trying to do too many things at once increases the chance you fail at all of them.
Set Incremental Goals
Psychologists and exercise coaches all agree that hand-in-hand with realistic goals is to make incremental goals. Sure you might want to lose 10 pounds in a month but chances are that’s not going to happen because inertia applies to your current lifestyle. Radical change rarely sticks.
Small achievable goals not only increases your chance of meeting them, it also helps to keep you from spending too much time or money on something which might not work out. Take for example a scenario where a person wants to start jogging. It would be easy to go out and buy a lot of gear, hit the road and suddenly get discouraged because they couldn’t run more than a mile without feeling wiped out. A better approach would be to go the incremental approach: only buy good walking shoes and start walking till one gets the strength and stamina to begin running. By the time one gets up to the need for special gear, one has already met many of their initial incremental goals.
Incremental goals work especially well for meeting financial goals as well. It’s far easier to start saving for a smaller weekend get-away than for that long overdue trip to Disney World. Also, starting small, automated monthly savings is a lot easier to learn to live with.
Don’t Jump Into the Deep End
As adults we tend not to want to take baby steps. But regardless of our pride, baby steps are often what we need to avoid hurting ourselves. So many New Year’s resolution are about exercise but so many of us haven’t done a lot of it since school. Jumping right into a physical regime can lead to burn-out, disappoint and injury. So regardless of what you may have done in the past, look at starting over.
One of the best ways to do this is having one of your incremental goals being getting back into stretching (or learning it in the first place!) and taking something like a yoga class will accomplish this. Also talk to you doctor for before jumping into a major change in your physical activities.
Let’s face it, slacking is easy when it’s just you. So pairing up with someone or a group to work on one’s goals is one of the best ways to reach your goals. This especially works for those starting to do things like running. Join a group especially ones with different ability groups. This allows you to work with people at your own level and still get the advice from those above your level.