As we wrap up 2022 and head into the new year, many of us are thinking about what we want to accomplish in 2023. Each year, thousands of people across the globe create New Year’s resolutions and are eager to hit the ground running come January. But did you know that only 9-12% of people who set resolutions actually achieve their goals? Wanting to live a healthier lifestyle is admirable, but it’s important to set yourself up for success in order to maintain your goals for the long run. Here are a few tips on how to succeed in your New Year’s resolution.
Set Realistic Expectations
Setting realistic expectations is key to maintaining your goals. People who are the most successful in sticking to their resolutions understand their limits and don’t exceed those boundaries. You’ll want to limit the number of resolutions you pursue, develop a strategy, and start with small steps. Having too many goals on your list will overwhelm you and decrease your motivation. Make a list of five goals that you want to achieve and choose the top two or three that are the most important to you.
Once you decide which goals you will work towards, break them down into simple steps. It’s best to start out with small steps to develop the good habits needed to build endurance. For example, if your goal is to focus on improving your mental health, create a list of action items that you can complete every week. Plan to get outside on your favorite trail, or cook your favorite meal on the weekends. If your goal is to read more, start by choosing one book that you’re interested in and read 10 pages each night before bed. Before long, you will get into the habit of reading each evening and you’ll be ready to increase the number of chapters that you read before bed!
Don’t try to tackle your goals by yourself. Find a friend or your spouse to join you in building a healthy lifestyle together. If they have the same resolution as you, set up a time to work towards your goal together. Start a book club or go on a hike together when your schedules allow for it! Even if your friend or spouse has a different goal, you can still plan weekly check-ins to share your progress or helpful tips. Having another person on your journey will also make the process more enjoyable. Celebrate each other’s milestones and encourage one another through difficult days.
Take it Slow
Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Likewise, the success of your New Year’s resolution won’t happen overnight. It takes time and dedication to make lifestyle changes, but the payoff will be worth it. Acknowledge that there will be days when you miss a workout session or forget to read before bed – that’s okay! Just because you have an “off day” does not mean that you’ve stopped working towards your goals. Show yourself some grace and don’t give up.
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