What is Your New Year’s Resolution?
It is that time of the year again…New Year’s resolution time. We all know that they are hard to keep….Fred-E-Scene is here to give you some tips to make your path to personal growth easier:
Make Your Goals Specific. People proclaim, “I’m finally going to get in shape.” But what does that actually mean? Do you intend to reach a certain weight? Or body-fat percentage? Do you want to run three miles without rest? Maybe be able to do 10 pull-ups? Dr. Marciano is a fan of the classic goal system that makes goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART).
Talk About It. Share your experiences with family and friends. Consider joining a support group to reach your goals, such as a workout class at your gym or a group of coworkers quitting smoking. Having someone to share your struggles and successes with makes your journey to a healthier lifestyle that much easier and less intimidating.
Don’t run with the crowd and go with the usual resolutions. Instead think about what you really want out of life.
Outline Your Plan. Decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip that exercise class or have that piece of cake. This could include calling on a friend for help, practicing positive thinking and self-talk, or reminding yourself how your “bad” will affect your goal.
Anticipate problems. There will be problems so make a list of what they’ll be. If you think about it, you’ll be able to anticipate problems at certain times of the day, with specific people or in special situations. Once you’ve identified the times that will probably be hard work out ways to cope with them when they inevitably crop up.
Be prepared to change some habits. One reason that resolutions fail is people don’t change the habits that sabotage them, says Rosalene Glickman, author of “Optimal Thinking: How to Be Your Best Self.”
One potent approach is to realize that all you ever have is the present moment. So ask what you can do now that will get you closer to your goal, says Glickman. It could mean trade-offs such as sacrificing an hour of couch time for your new goals. “That’s how you get resolutions implemented,” says O’Connor.
Another good strategy is to arrange your life so you don’t have to wrestle with temptation, he says.
Be realistic. Don’t aim too high and ignore reality – consider your previous experience with resolutions. What led to failure then? It may be that you resolved to lose too much weight or save an unrealistic amount of money. Remember, there will always be more opportunities to start on the next phase, so set realistic goals.
Plan a time-frame. In fact, the time-frame is vital for motivation. It is your barometer for success, the way you assess your short-term progress towards the ultimate long-term goal. Buy a calendar or diary so you can plan your actions for the coming weeks or months, and decide when and how often to evaluate.
Treat yourself. When making your plan, a vital feature should be the rewards and treats you will give yourself at those all-important milestones. But be warned, don’t fall into the trap of putting your goal in danger – it’s too easy for a dieter to say “I’ve been so good, I deserve a few candy bars”, or a saver to throw caution to the wind with a new purchase. One slip, and it could all be over.
Make one change at a time. Once you understand that you have only a limited amount of willpower, it’s easy to understand why multiple resolutions aren’t likely to work, says Ian Newby-Clark, Ph.D., a psychologist at the University of Guelph in Canada. Most resolutions actually require many behavior changes. Sure, some are straightforward, like remembering to take a calcium pill every day — but a successful weight-loss program, for example, calls for more than just a decision to eat less.
You have to shop and cook differently, start or ramp up an exercise routine, maybe even ditch certain social or family events. “Thinking through these sub-strategies boosts success rates,” says Newby-Clark. “But it would take too much attention and vigilance to do all that and also decide it’s time to brush your teeth for the full two minutes and become better informed about world events.”
Make a checklist. To stay motivated, make a checklist of how achieving your resolution will help you.
Forgive yourself. If you fall off the wagon, jump back on.