I know 15 ways to stick to New Years resolutions that I want to share with you all today. I used some of these tactics myself in 2012 while making resolutions, and did quite well with staying on track. Making promises to yourself is actually quite fun, it's following through that can be the difficult and disappointing part. Here are a handful of ways to stick to new Years resolutions which will ensure we make 2013 our best year yet.
1. Write Them down
Having a record of your goals is one of the most important ways to stick to New Years resolutions. If you have a dreams list like mine, putting Santa Clause's naughty list to shame, a list is a great way to remind yourself of each and every aspiration. Heaven forbid you forget to learn how to knit by November, those winter nights could get chilly without pink knit underwear.
2. Baby Steps
Make a millions dollar! Sounds fabulous and also a sure-fire way to get yourself a first class ticket to depression-ville. For example, if one of your goals for the New Year is to make more money, start off with monthly goals and increase them as you see success. It will be a far better ride to the year's end if you're not popping Zantac like gum, so make your goals attainable, increase them the next year when you see great success.
3. Set a Reminder
Another great way to stay focused is to set yourself weekly or monthly reminders. Have it be on your cell phone or e-mail calendar, anyway you'll see it. Just a little note will go a long way, "stay positive, have strength and walk the path I'm creating for my future." Another fun way to be reminded is to have your friend pop you an e-mail every week - reminding you to "eat your veggies, hit the gym, and grab a glass of water." Of course, return the favour and remind them to do the same.
4. Be Specific
Weight loss seems to be a resolution we have all made one year or another. If it's making your list again for 2013 like myself, why don't you be more specific. Rather than "lose weight" as your resolution, have it be "lose 5 lbs a month." With a goal to be reached each month, you are sure to work at it daily and not let it hit the back-burner.
5. Enlist in Support
Those who succeed usually have their friends and family to thank. Tell me the last person you heard that lost a ton of weight that didn't start off any of their encouragement statements with "I'd like to thank my supporters..." Those who enlist in friends and family to stand behind them in their goals are always that much more successful. Having your husband ask you to join him at the gym, or pour you a glass of water so you make your 64 oz quota for the day, are small little things, but in the grand scheme of it, will help in your success. Tell those closest to you what you want for yourself in 2013 and let them be your own cheer squad. Minus the mini skirts and pom poms of course, that would just be wrong.
6. Reward Success
Whoever waited 365 for a reward for a goal met, never made it. Seriously people, reward yourself along the way, the path to success will be so much easier when a monthly reward is enjoyed. It doesn't have to break the bank, promise yourself a mani/pedi at the end of the month if you reach you goal of losing 5 lbs. These little gifts each month will encourage you and also make you think twice about eating that bag of Oreos. I find rewarding my success is one of the ways to stick to New Years resolutions that's most important.
7. Give Yourself a Push
If one of your 2012 promises to yourself is to go to the gym at least twice a week, then encourage yourself, so you want to go. Start off the year with a new pair of runners and sports bra. Nothing says motivation like looking cute to hit the treadmill. Trust me, once you step off that moving track, you'll feel as great as you look.
8. Put Away the Boxing Gloves
Know that throughout the year, you will fall, make mistakes, and step off the path. It's okay, that's allowed. Just make sure you get back in the ring, no beating yourself up over a misguided step. It happens to us all. See the error, fix it, and get back on track. Expect it, embrace it, and use it as a lesson learnt.
9. Stay Positive
One cannot conquer the world unless they have the will power. Staying happy, positive and strong will help achieve any promise you make for yourself, for the year, or your lifetime. Some ways that help me stay positive are watching funny movies as much as my life will allow, or indulging in an evening of sweets while catching up with girlfriends. Whatever it is that makes you smile on the inside, that is what you need to do daily, weekly, monthly - anything that will keep you thinking the glass is half full vs. its evil step brother, half empty.
10. Inspiration Board
Make yourself an inspiration board that will not only remind you of your goals, but make you strive for them even more. I'm not talking about a Pinterest Board lovelies, I'm talking about a tangible board that can be framed and placed somewhere that you will see it, dream it, feel it - daily. Your bedroom, bathroom, office, a place that you will get 5 minutes to yourself to gaze into space and get yourself together. Wherever this is, have your Inspiration Board there for you to dream big and stay guided.
11. Don’t Make Absolute Resolutions
When you make your resolution don’t say you’re going to give up something 100% or start doing something everyday. It’s too much of a change and you’ll want to rebel. Instead say you’re going to do it every other day or a few times a week. If you’re giving something up, only have it/do it on certain days or every so often. This should help keep you from giving up on your resolution completely.
12. Stick to One
Some people like to have a long list of resolutions, but that makes it harder to stick to your guns. If you want to quit smoking, lose weight, go out more, and read more it’s going to be tough. Pick the toughest one and focus on that. If you reach that goal in less than a year then power to you and move on to the next one, but don’t try to do a million life changing things at once.
13. Measure Your Progress
Why not keep a chart or a calendar to track all of the times you succeed or fail at keeping your resolution? When you can see in writing how you’re doing, it’ll likely make you feel like you have to keep going. Also, other people can see the progress if they live with your or visit often and you’ll want to be proud that you’ve been keeping up with things. This will help you stay on track.
14. Break It down
If you want to lose a certain amount of weight in the year, why not break it down by month or even week? This will help you to feel like you’re accomplishing something in the short term rather than having to wait a whole year to see your results. If you want to save $1,000 this year, then see how much you have to save a month. Smaller goals will help you feel rewarded and satisfied.
15. Keep It within Your Control
Don’t choose something that you have no control over. You’re destined to lose your mind if you try and try, but can’t reach your goal. Don’t choose things like get married unless you plan on proposing, but even then you can’t make the other person say yes. Only choose a resolution that you can hold yourself accountable for.
These are 15 of the ways I like to make my New Years resolutions last, however everyone has their own recipe. Tell me, how do you make your resolutions stick?
This article was written in collaboration with editor Lydia Sheehan.