Resolve To Keep Resolutions
You really mean it this year you're going to change! You've made your resolution list and feel motivated. With a little thought and the proper support system in place, even the hardest resolutions can fit seamlessly into your new year, and before you know it they will become a regular part of your new, healthy lifestyle.
1. Keep it simple We set ourselves up for failure when taking on more tasks than we can accomplish. We can surely think of numerous lifestyle changes we need to make, but the best way to accomplish these changes is to prioritize one or two and fully commit. Don't sell yourself short by spreading too thin. There's no rule that says you can't focus on one resolution now, and add a new one in March.
2. Create steps to success Many patients become disheartened and give up when they don't see progress. Often this is not because they have made no progress, but rather because they set their goal so high that they don't recognize the process it takes to get there.
To stay encouraged, break your resolution down into smaller steps with clear deadlines and mini-goals. For example, if your resolution is to lose weight, determine what your goal is and how long it will take to reasonably get there. Now re-write your resolution in ways that you can see success as it happens, by saying “Lose five pounds by February 1st. Lose 15 pounds by March 1st.”
3. No repeats If you've failed to keep the same resolution you've made every January for the last five years, chances are you won't keep it this time. Perhaps you are resolving to do something you feel you should do, but don't really want to do. Evaluate the resolutions you created last year and determine how you might change them to be more realistic.
4. Accomplishments build upon themselves Acknowledge the progress you've made by creating a reward system that positively reinforces your efforts. Schedule a massage or pedicure for February 2nd when you've confirmed that you have lost the five pounds.
Never punish yourself if you don't meet the goal. This puts you into a state of stress and dread, thus making it more likely you will give up. If you haven't met your mini-goal, cancel the reward and reschedule for the following month.
5. Elicit all the help you can get The point of resolutions is to make a positive change that will benefit your life, not to prove how proud you can be. Don't make life more difficult by insisting that you do it all on your own. Do you have an exercise routine? Schedule an appointment with a personal trainer as your first mini-goal so that he can create a routine that suits your needs. Never kept to a budget before? See a financial planner so that she can give you a new perspective on how to maximize your spending.
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