Setting and keeping New Year’s resolutions can be challenging but rewarding. Here are some practical suggestions to help you set and stick to your resolutions:
1. Choose a Theme for the Year:
Instead of specific resolutions, choose a theme for the year. This could be a single word or a short phrase that encapsulates your goals. For example, if your theme is “Balance,” you might focus on achieving equilibrium in different areas of your life. Consider choosing just one word that represents your primary resolution for the year. Keep it simple and easy to remember. When faced with a decision about your goal, reflect on your chosen word for guidance.
2. Have a Vision Board Party:
Host a vision board party with friends or family. Create a visual representation of your goals and aspirations for the year ahead. Use magazines, images, and words that resonate with your resolutions. Display the vision board in a prominent place as a daily reminder.
3. Monthly Challenges:
Break down your resolutions into monthly challenges. Mark your calendar and focus on a specific aspect of your goal each month. This approach can make your resolutions more manageable and help you build momentum throughout the year.
4. Set Reminders:
Set reminders on your calendar, phone, or computer to prompt you to revisit your resolutions regularly. This could be a weekly reflection or a simple notification with a motivational quote related to your goals.
5. Reward Yourself:
Establish a reward system to celebrate your progress. For each milestone or achievement, treat yourself to something special. Positive reinforcement reinforces good habits.
6. Work with an Accountability Partner:
Choose a friend or family member with similar resolutions and become accountability partners. Check-in regularly to share progress and setbacks. Knowing someone else is counting on you can be a powerful motivator. You may also join online communities or local groups centered around your resolutions. Being part of a like-minded community provides support, encouragement, and shared experiences that can keep you motivated.
Keep a journal dedicated to your resolutions. Research indicates that those who write out their goals daily have a much higher success rate in achieving them. Also reflect on your journey, record achievements, and learn from challenges. Make a habit of journaling at the same time each day. This practice helps you stay on track and provides insights into your growth.
8. Make it Fun:
Infuse a sense of playfulness into your resolutions. If your goal is fitness-related, try a new enjoyable sport or activity. If it’s a learning goal, gamify the process to make it more engaging.
Remember, the key to successful resolutions is a combination of realistic goal setting, consistent effort, and adapting to challenges along the way. Be patient with yourself, celebrate small victories, and stay committed to the journey.
Dr. Michael Ollendieck of Nashua West Adult Medicine is a board-certified internal medicine physician and graduated from the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa.