The New Year represents a new beginning which is why many of us make New Year’s resolutions. Does it work? According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, people who make New Year’s resolutions are 10 times more likely to change their behavior. That’s good news! Ready to make a fresh start? Here are some tips for making and keeping resolutions. If you are resolved to find a new home, visit Balmoral and check that one off your list today.
There Can Be Only One
Trying to change five different things about yourself is a recipe for failure. Instead of creating a laundry list of resolutions, make just one. Once you have achieved your goal, set another one.
It’s important to set a realistic, specific goal. Instead of resolving to “get in shape,” commit to going to the gym three times a week. Instead of trying to “eat healthier meals,” purchase a vegetarian cookbook and commit to making three healthy meals a week. Over time, these behaviors will become ingrained, and you will see other changes.
Ask Yourself Why
As yourself why you want to make a change. If you want to lose weight, are you doing it for health reasons, to fit into your old clothes or to feel better about yourself? Knowing why you want to change helps you zero in on what success will look like for you.
Break It Down
Break your resolution into small, achievable goals. This keeps you from overdoing it, helps you plan for setbacks and keeps you on track. If you are thinking of running a marathon, try going for a short run or jog two or three times a week and gradually work up to running every day. Then slowly increase the distance. Eventually, you will be ready for that 5K.
Find a Buddy
If you want to make a change, you need support. If possible, find a friend with the same goal and work on it together. It’s more fun. If your goal is to change psychological behavior, you might need the help of a professional.
Get Back on the Horse
We are imperfect creatures. We will have setbacks. Maybe we don’t hit the gym for a week or two. Maybe we can’t say no to Florence in Accounting’s cookies. That’s okay. Rather than getting angry with yourself and giving up, accept that sometimes there will be obstacles. Decide what to do the next time Florence brings cookies to work. Maybe you will keep an apple in your desk drawer or maybe limit yourself to one that you share with a coworker.
When we make resolutions, we plan to reward ourselves when we achieve our goals. Rather than waiting until the end, reward yourself for each small step you accomplish. It will keep you motivated because your progress is tangible. You may find yourself continuing your journey so you can receive your next reward.
Be Kind and Flexible
Change is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. Be kind to yourself. If you are feeling down because change isn’t happening fast enough, tape an inspirational quote to the bathroom mirror, call a friend or meditate on your successes. Be flexible. If you are finding heading to the gym impossible, change your goal. Maybe take a walk or ride your bike with loved ones. You may not get as much exercise, but you will be exercising, and that is all that counts in the end.