Jan 01 2015
Making New Year’s Resolutions Stick
New Year’s resolutions are popular because they offer a fresh start and another chance to get it right. At the first of the year, we often reflect on what went right and what could go better. But unmet goals leave an underlying feeling of failure, which can undermine new challenges. Often, we don’t fail because we don’t try hard enough, we just aim too high.
- Baby steps are the key to achieving goals. You didn’t get to where you are overnight and you’re not going to get where you want to be without small, deliberate action. If you want to cut down on sweets, consider eliminating one diet soda from your diet per day. When you notice that you don’t miss it, up the ante just a bit.
- Too many goals can make us feel overwhelmed and one misstep can be our downfall. Be mindful of when you need a break and give yourself escapes that replenish such as reading, visiting girlfriends or getting a massage.
- Know that life will always present challenges, which seem especially daunting when we are trying to change. Overcome old coping habits by outlining options that offer comfort when you’re vulnerable. For example, instead of reaching for salty chips, close your eyes and take several deep breaths.
- Meditation and yoga are excellent ways to slow down, listen to your inner voice and make lifelong changes. The practice creates a safe environment in which you can examine self-destructive behavior in a non-judgmental manner. With dedicated practice, unhealthy habits such as gossiping or overcommitting seem to fall away.
- The end of the year is a launching pad to evolve into your best self. Time off work offers a chance to cradle yourself within the luxury of time. Relish in it and set boundaries with family and friends. Give yourself space to nurture and reflect on what you want next year to look like.
- Don’t be hard on yourself. If you aren’t perfect and take comfort in knowing that no one is foolproof. Instead of turning a slip-up into a belly flop, try again tomorrow. Realistic expectations of New Year’s resolutions offer opportunities for healthy change.