How to keep a New Years Resolution
by Deanna Anderson
Are you one among millions who will be making a New Year’s resolution this year? Are you also one among the millions that will break your New Year’s resolution? Every year resolutions are made and either forgotten or broken before the year is half over. Take the number 1 goal of all: weight loss and/or exercise. Health club memberships increase dramatically in January but 84% of these people will not keep their resolution.
Often guilt ensues when someone realizes that their resolutions have not been met and maybe never will be. This completely defeats the purpose since making resolutions is to change a person positively and feeling guilt is not a positive emotion.
So, how can a person make and keep a resolution? Following these tips and advice will help you on your way to keeping a resolution.
Be Realistic: Often, people make resolutions in the “heat of the moment.” That is, they make resolutions on the night that they are celebrating the New Year. People are having a good time and feel that they can accomplish anything but goals should be well thought out plans, not whims of fancy. Pick resolutions that you can accomplish and pick a time limit in which you can accomplish it.
Be Specific: State what it is that you really want. The goal “losing weight” is not adequate enough; you must know how much weight you want to lose and how you are going to lose it.
Choose the Right Goal: If you are a woman over 40 then choosing a goal to become an Olympic gymnast is not the right one for you since Olympic gymnasts tend to be 12-18 years old. But taking a gymnastics or aerobics class in your town is an adequate goal. Or wanting to move to another country without ever having been there first probably is not a smart goal, but visiting that country first is. Choose the goal that is feasible; that fits within your means and needs.
Develop a Plan: Now that you have your goals in mind you need to develop a plan. Let’s stick the number one goal, losing weight, and decide from there where we need to go. You know that you want to lose 20 pounds. So, the goal is realistic and hopefully right for you. The first step might be to seek a doctor’s counsel. It is possible that exercising, dieting or losing 20 pounds is not feasible considering your health. A doctor will let you know that or let you know how much weight or what type of exercise is feasible for you. Then your next step could be to enroll in a health club and have professionals help you lose the weight, or enroll in club that will teach you the proper portions and eating habits that will help you to lose the weight. Think through every goal in baby steps, writing each step down, and how long you think it will take you to accomplish that step. Even if the step is minor such as “call the doctor for an appointment.” The step would be to “call doctor by Monday.”
Remain flexible: Life happens when you aren’t looking. No one can tell what might happen in the next 365 days and certain goals may to be delayed, altered or dropped completely. Again, with the weight goal, if the doctor visits shows that 20 pounds might not be healthy for you (you might be 6 foot tall and only way 120 as it is) but that 10 is better, then take his advice and alter your goal. Or, you may find out that you are pregnant. In this case your exercise and diet regimen would have to either stop or be altered. Maybe you break a leg and can’t exercise for 3 weeks and this goes beyond your goal set time. Be flexible, no one is looking at your time limit except you. When you set your own deadline you can move that deadline. You may also have to add steps or take some away depending on how your needs or wants change.
Stay on Track: This is probably the most important step of all. Staying on track means more than just to keep track of your individual steps and when they were met. This means to stick to the goal as well. Don’t attend 3 sessions of exercise and upon seeing no results except some sore muscles decide to quit. There is nothing wrong with abandoning a goal, it is your choice, but you must give it a try first. That is why baby steps are a great method. Instead of one large step you have a multitude of baby steps that you get to cross off your list one at a time.
Following these steps can help you along your resolution path of success. Another great tip not mentioned above is that not all resolutions have to start on January 1st. The dates for starting and completing a goal can be different. It is easier to accomplish a few goals throughout the year rather than starting them all the first week in January. This is one of the main causes for breaking goals.
Good luck and happy new year resolutions!
About the Author: Deanna Anderson is from Sumter, SC, USA. She is a freelancer writer whose articles appear mostly on the internet. Visit www.lulu.com/deelynna.