Posted in How-to's on December 31, 2011
Just two days left until 2012!! *Cue flashy lights and party whistles*
This time of year it’s the fad to make lofty wishes to become a better person that most of us have no intention of keeping–the infamous New Year’s Resolution. “I’m going to wake up at 6am everyday!” “I’ll practice 30 minutes a day!” “I’ll lose 5000 pounds!” “I’ll bring back the Foxtrot!” It seems so easy to make resolutions for the new year with blind abandon. It’s perfectly fine to have high-hopes for 2012, but making loose wishes without a plan for action is just a recipe for disaster. (…like me attempting to dance that Foxtrot.)
So what IS the right recipe for making a lasting change in your life? Well here’s mine, and like any recipe, it should be adjusted to taste.
- Don’t make a resolution in haste. Take the time to reflect over the past year and what you have and have not accomplished. Consider the time and effort that will be required to carry out your new goal. If you aren’t able to commit to making a change happen, then don’t make yourself an empty promise! You’ll only be breaking your own trust in the future, and if you can’t trust yourself then who can you trust?
- Be realistic. Pick a goal that you can actually accomplish in the coming months. Don’t pick something too hard or too far away. For example, losing 75 pounds (at a healthy rate) might take you at least a year of INTENSE dedication. Instead shoot for something manageable like 5 or 10 pounds by Valentine’s day. The shorter time frame will help you stay on top of your goal.
- Find someone to be accountable to. Whether it’s a friend, a significant other, your cousin Phineas, or a pen-pal, you are much more likely to succeed if you have someone to update on your progress regularly. It’s a lot easier to make excuses to ourselves about why we couldn’t make it to the gym this week than to explain your reasoning to someone else. (In a pinch, you can substitute a mildly judgmental cat for your accountability partner. With glances like that, you know you shouldn’t be eating that Oreo.)
- Don’t give up! So it’s now mid-March and the glamour of New Year’s Resolutions are wearing off. You can give up on your resolution and say to yourself, “2013 will be different…” or you can stay the course and keep on pushing towards your goals. Contrary to the 21st century lifestyle, success is hard to achieve. After the excitement has worn off for your new goal, look for ways to keep yourself motivated. Write yourself encouraging post-it notes. Share your successful progress so far. Talk with an expert in your goal area. Blog about it.