It’s that time of year again when many of us make New Year’s resolutions to improve our health and well-being. Unfortunately, we often have a tough time sticking to our goals, and by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around, our best-laid plans may have gone by the wayside. That’s why now is the time to create your recipe for New Year’s resolution success.
According to the dictionary, a “resolution” means both a firm decision and a firmness of purpose, or determination. The decision part of the resolution equation should be planned out carefully. Here are five tried and true tips for New Year’s resolution success that incorporate both decision and determination:
- Set attainable goals. The biggest mistake people usually make in outlining their New Year’s resolutions is to set unattainable goals. Try to set achievable goals so that you’re ensured of success. It’s important to understand that big changes come from a combination of many small changes over time. Instead of making a New Year’s resolution to lose 30 pounds (and you haven’t been at that goal weight since high school), why not set a goal to lose 5 pounds by Valentine’s Day?
- Get support from a personal trainer. Change is always easier to accomplish when another person is cheering you on. Two heads are better than one when it comes to making decisions and the determination to complete your goals. Share your resolution verbally with someone you trust. Talk about your plans with another person and review them often, together. A verbal commitment can help people cement a firm decision in their mind.
- Plan ahead and outline a schedule for getting you to your goal. Tracking your progress is extremely helpful for keeping you on target. It also allows your support person or trainer to help you more efficiently. And don’t forget to reward yourself with small gifts for succeeding with your weekly “mini-goals.”
- Never strive for perfection. Everyone has a temporary blip where they fall off the horse occasionally, especially under times of duress. Lapses are an important part of the process of making successful permanent changes. Share these temporary setbacks with your trainer and it will ultimately help you to strengthen your resolve.
- Visualize yourself after you’ve attained your goals. Visualization can be a strong motivational tool for many people, particularly when they “see” the positive rewards of making those behavioral changes.