It’s that time of the year again, when everyone is making their New Year’s resolutions. Maybe you’ve sworn them off. Maybe you make them every year. Perhaps this year, you’ve decided it's going to be different. This year you’re going to make a resolution that sticks. It’s hard. Most people and their resolutions break up fast. Why is that? What is it about resolutions that make them so difficult? Here are a couple of tips we hope you remember when you’re making (and hopefully not breaking) those resolutions.
Make them realistic
Keep your resolutions attainable. If your goal is to lose weight in 2019, instead of saying you’re going to lose 50 pounds resolve to “make healthier choices.” Because if you end up losing 25 pounds, that’s not a failure, that’s great and something to be celebrated. We’re not saying to not shoot for the moon when it comes to your resolution but your resolution doesn't need a number behind it for it to be successful.
Make them simple
Changing behavior is already a difficult thing to do so it's essential to make these changes as simple as possible in the beginning. Be honest with yourself in your choices. If you're not a morning person, don't fool yourself into thinking you're going to wake up at 4 am every day to hit the gym. That's just setting yourself up for failure. Instead, try going for a walk during your lunch break or an evening stroll after dinner. Change starts with simple decisions and having a plan, which leads us to the next point.
Don’t make them suddenly
Deciding to quit smoking at 11:59, as the clock counts down to midnight, might sound like an excellent resolution but it is probably not going to work. For resolutions to stick, they need a plan and quitting anything involving a habit (especially something as addicting as nicotine) will need to be well thought out. Take the time to figure out how you’re going to change your behavior. Who will be there to support you? What steps are you going to take to stay on track? What happens if you slip up? This last one leads us to the next point.
If you slip up, don’t give up
Resolutions are hard. You need to remember that a slip up doesn’t mean you give up. If you’re trying to eat right and end up eating something unhealthy for lunch, you need to recognize that was just one meal in a lifetime of meals. Make sure the next one is a healthier option, but that doesn’t mean you throw up your hands and call it quits on the year. Slip-ups happen. It’s important to get up, dust the powder sugar off yourself and get back on track.
Don’t forget change is hard
One of the main reasons resolutions fail is because change is not easy and usually the thing you’re quitting is something you enjoy. It’s easy to stop stuff you don’t like doing. Resolve to quit eating kale? No problem. Resolve to quit running up hills? Done. Change takes time and perseverance. Try not to get frustrated in the beginning (especially if your resolution is not to get frustrated quickly). Stick with it, permanent change takes time but is worth it.