It’s the day when people traditionally start anew. Here are some tips to help you stay on track, no matter what your goals.
- Base your resolutions on proper planning, rather than the end result. It’s a lot easier to become discouraged at your lack of progress when your goals are too big or based on fantasy. Instead of saying, “This year, I plan to lose 20 pounds,” say, “This year, I plan to make healthy changes to my diet and exercise routine.” Want to be more productive? “This year, I will take steps to streamline my workload.”
- Budget. Whether your goal this year is to pay off your credit card bills or to write that book, take some time to sit down and figure out where you have room to spare. Again, be realistic and take small bites. Don’t think you can live on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches three meals a day until the Visa bill is paid in full. How much can you really put aside and not miss? Where can you squeeze in an extra twenty minutes for the sole purpose of writing?
- Tell a friend/partner about your goal and ask for their support. Be specific about this. Don’t insist they nag you, but do ask your spouse to maybe take the kids to the park once a week so you can squeeze in time for you. Many gyms will be running special sales in the coming week – ask a friend to split the difference with you and the two of you can make solid appointments to go together – or even plan to walk together on your lunch hour or after work! Support is crucial to any goal.
- Give yourself small rewards that don’t sabotage your progress. Have you written every day this week? Buy a new pen or put a sticker on your wall calendar. (Yes, it’s juvenile, but at the end of the year, those stickers will bring a little bit of pride to your life – and it’s a symbol of how much progress you made.)
- If you stumble, don’t quit. No one is perfect and most of us do not have iron will. You might slip up, miss a week, eat that cupcake, or opt to take a day or two off. It doesn’t have to sabotage your progress. Pick yourself up and go for it again.
- Journal about your goal. Whether you use a blog, Facebook, a day planner, or a memo book, write about your feelings, your ups and downs, your frustrations and successes. Putting things in writing gives you perspective, encouragement, and determination to keep going.
- Remember that you are in control. You’re worth more than that chocolate bar, your words are deserving of an audience, you really don’t need another sweater in your closet, and so on. The choices are up to you. When temptation strikes (and it will!), visualize where you want to be on December 31, 2019 and ask yourself if that slip-up is worth having to double your efforts in the coming days. The more often you resist temptation, the easier it becomes to do so.
One of my resolutions this year is to blog here more often. I’ve let this blog slide in the last year and I miss communicating with readers. Feel free to share your resolutions here and keep me informed of your progress throughout the year!
And if you’re perfect just as you are, good for you! Help me cheer on those who want to reach that level of self-happiness in their own lives.
Happy new year, dear friends. May the coming days bring you love and laughter.