It’s January, which means you probably made a New Year’s resolution or two right before the ball dropped, right? But do you intend on actually keeping your resolutions this year, or did you simply make them out of habit?
Here are eight simple steps to help you actually keep your resolutions this year!
- Don’t depend on willpower
Willpower is not real. It’s not about willpower, it’s about finding your power. Dig deep and think about why you want to do this to begin with. How will it empower you?
- Create specific goals, or ignore them and do something even better
Your goals must be SMART!
- Short term and long term. Make long-term goals, but focus on the short-term goals you will meet that will get you there.
- Meaningful, based on your individual values.
- Approaching something positive instead of away from something negative.
- Realistic, meaning your goal is realistically possible.
- Time-framed, meaning you have set a time frame with which to accomplish your goals.
Or move beyond goals and focus on systems. When systems are in place, goals will be met by default.
- Replace old habits with new ones
Drive through a restaurant for breakfast on your way to work every morning? Take a new route.
Snack late at night when you’re watching television? Paint, draw, work out or go for a walk instead of watching television, or exchange your snacks for veggies and water.
By replacing new habits instead of just trying not to repeat your old ones, you will set yourself up for positive change and success!
- Consider the worst
No positive thinking here. Anticipate everything that could go wrong. Think about what has gone wrong in the past, and make a plan for how you will overcome it when it comes up again (because chances are, it will).
By doing so, you’ll have a system in place for any challenge that tries to derail you!
- Use evolution
Recall a time in the past when you were successful in reaching your goals and consider what else was going on at that time. How was your relationship with your significant other, if there was one? What stages were your children in? What was your financial situation? How was your mindset different?
If your situation is completely different, it’s time to make a different plan based on where you are now. Seek to recreate the environment that allowed you to be successful before and chances are you will have that success again!
- Make sure you are committed enough
On a scale of one to 10, where are you in your willingness to change? To feel pain and discomfort and endure that to change something about yourself: your weight, your attitude, your level of success—you name it.
Be honest! Think about what you might have to give up or do more or less of so you can truly change your life. If you aren’t at an eight or above, consider if you really want this change in the first place, and be honest! If you don’t, let it go and be happy with who you are and where you are right now.
- Take baby steps
Ask yourself this question, “What’s the easiest, most convenient way you can move closer to your goal?” Be mindful of the small, simple steps you’re making to change yourself, and celebrate those steps. They add up to big wins!
- Recognize yourself for the things you did right
The small things matter. What are the small things you did right today? Make a point to ask yourself that question every evening and read it again every morning. This is the power of positive psychology. The more you encourage these behaviors, the more you will do them and get closer to your goals!
And even if you haven’t started on your New Year’s resolutions yet, it’s not too late! You can start today by making these simple, yet powerful, changes to stick to and reach your goals.
Photo credit: Toa Heftiba, Unsplash