The start of a new year is an exciting time. For most people, it’s a sign of new beginnings, a time to set goals and “New Year’s resolutions” that ought to guide them to become better people throughout the course of the year. It’s that time of year when we feel like we need to make a fresh start and turn over a new leaf. This is the period when we naively believe that the start of a new year will miraculously bring the motivation, energy, and determination we need to change ourselves.
New Year’s Day is customarily thought of as the perfect occasion to begin a new phase of your life and the day on which you must make your significant new year’s resolution. However, oftentimes, a lot of the set “New Year’s resolutions” are dropped before the year can properly begin. Chances are you probably have broken a New Year’s resolution you set at some point in your life before. Don’t set yourself up for failure this year by promising to make massive, difficult-to-maintain changes.
Here are 8 tips to create New Year’s resolutions you can achieve and how to go about achieving them.
1. Be realistic
Making your aim unachievable is the best way to guarantee failure. For instance, vowing to stop eating pizza completely and going to the gym every day when you know how much of a pizza junkie and couch potato you are.
Not to say that it is impossible to stop but telling yourself you’re just going to stop all of a sudden is not going to work. Rather, you can gradually wean yourself off your old habits. Like with the pizza example, you could limit yourself to one pizza a week for starters then one in 2 weeks then one a month. Before you know it, you’re eating way less pizza than you were last year!
Also read: Ketogenic Diet: What it is & How it Works
2. Plan ahead
Make your New Year’s resolutions before midnight on New Year’s Eve. If you wait until the last minute, your decision will depend on how you are feeling that day. Instead, it should be prepared well in advance of December 31st.
Achieving any objective requires making informed choices and thorough planning. The measures you will take, your motivation for making the change, and strategies for keeping yourself on track should all be discussed before you attempt a significant behaviour change, according to experts. For instance, if your goal was to go to the gym 4 times a week, what gym will you use? How much is the membership? How close is it to your home/office? What days of the week will you go? What time of the day is best for you?
Without any kind of plan in place, you can rapidly find yourself giving up when you encounter any kind of challenge, setback, or opposition. What will you do if you’ve missed a whole week, and how will you proceed if you need to take time off for an illness or injury? You’ll be more likely to keep your resolution and overcome any obstacles if you are clear on what you want to accomplish and any challenges you could encounter.
Also read: Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
3. Break your plan down into steps
A typical reason why so many New Year’s resolutions fail is taking on too much too soon. Your plans will undoubtedly fail if you start an unsustainable restrictive diet, overdo it in the gym, or drastically modify your usual behaviour. Instead, concentrate on making incremental progress toward your larger objective. Although it may seem like a sluggish process at first, these modest adjustments help you maintain your new, healthy habits and raise the chances of long-term success.
Start by substituting a few less healthy foods with more nutrient-dense alternatives if you’re aiming to eat healthier. Take the pizza example I mentioned before. You can start by reducing the size of the pizza then switch to more veggie-based flavours and reduce how often you consume it. Make it a step-by-step process rather than an abrupt turnaround.
4. Talk about your resolutions
Share your New Year’s resolution with others. Inform your friends and family members who will be there to support you in your resolve to improve your health or alter yourself for the better. The ideal situation is to locate a friend who supports your New Year’s resolution. You can encourage one another while you work on it together.
The worst-case scenario is that people don’t believe you can actually do it. Imagine telling your family you’re going to start exercising and lose weight and they all burst out laughing in disbelief. This would be awful but it could happen. My advice is to take that mockery and turn it into motivation to go hard at your goal and shock them all at the next family cookout!
5. Make it fun
Goals are fun to achieve when you approach them with playfulness, even though you presumably already know that they should be precise and time-bound.
Look for ways to make your objectives more communicative or sociable. If your objective is to exercise more, for instance, look for a gym companion, join a sports team, or attempt a new group exercise class. Make sticking to your New Year’s resolutions a contest or a challenge. You may, for instance, attempt to beat your previous best or see how many days in a row you can keep your resolution.
Also read: Dangerous Side Effects of Weight Loss Pills
6. Track your progress
Nothing inspires you more than realising how far you’ve come. Tracking your progress will help you feel more confident that you are moving on the correct path. This is now simple to achieve because of technology.
For instance, you could use an app to mark the days that you made progress toward your objective. You can also develop a spreadsheet that will help you visualise your progress if you want to go the extra mile.
You’ll be more driven to continue on the right path once you see how far you’ve come and how well all of your sacrifices paid off. For days when you feel like your motivation is waning, reviewing all the effort you have put in is a great tactic.
7. Accept failure
Failure is common, regardless of how big or little your ambitions are. Don’t despise yourself if you do falter and sneak a smoke, skip a walk, or yell at the kids one morning. It’s okay to make mistakes occasionally. Take note of the factors and bad behaviours that contributed to this setback and make a commitment to learning from them.
Reduce your alcohol intake if you are aware that it causes you to crave cigarettes and to sleep the next day. Get up earlier or prepare things the night before if you know that the morning rush before school makes you yell.
The secret to success is perseverance. You will succeed if you set goals, keep trying, and keep trying.
8. Reward yourself
Make sure to master this phase in making new year’s resolutions because small prizes can be a terrific motivational boost during the toughest initial days. This does not imply that you can ignore your diet resolution and consume the full box of chocolates. Instead, reward yourself with something you enjoy that doesn’t conflict with your resolution to celebrate your achievement.
Consider rewarding yourself with new workout attire or by taking a friend to the movies if you have been keeping your word to improve your diet, for instance. You can then select an anniversary reward at the end of the year. Something you’ll eagerly anticipate. You will have earned it and you deserve it.
You might feel that since New Year’s Day has passed by the time this blog is published, you’ve already failed. According to science, you have not. You can begin fresh at any time you like, whether it’s on your birthday, next Monday, or the following month. Alternatively, choose any day to start fresh and follow these eight steps to developing a new healthy habit.
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