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3 Steps To Follow Through with New Year’s Resolutions

3 Steps To Follow Through with New Year’s Resolutions

Keeping difficult New Year’s resolutions may challenge and exasperate you. Sometimes, you may find yourself setting goals that are simply too lofty to reach realistically, and by the end of the year, you may end up feeling frustrated and guilty about your lack of success. Before you make your next round of New Year’s resolutions, plan carefully to help ensure that you can reach your goals.

1. Make Attainable and Specific Goals

Before you start writing down your New Year’s resolutions, think about past resolutions you attempted to keep. Analyze your successes and failures as you think about your future resolutions. For example, if you’ve constantly set weight-loss goals that you haven’t been able to reach, try to change the scope of your goal: instead of focusing on losing a specific number of pounds in a year, change your habits in other measurable and important ways. If you don’t exercise currently, make it a goal to run three times a week. Alternatively, you can set a goal to skip junk food three days each week. These smaller resolutions will offer a good challenge without frustrating you.

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You should also craft specific resolutions that you can monitor easily to gauge your progress. For example, if you make a goal to spend more time with your family, you’ll probably have a difficult time monitoring your progress. If, however, you plan to spend 30 minutes each day participating in an activity with your family, you’ll find it easy to keep track of the amount of time spent with them. Using this method, you can even create graphs and charts to help you mark your successes throughout the year. Keeping this visual reminder around will help you stay focused on your resolutions.

2. Share Your Resolutions

If you want some additional help with your New Year’s resolutions, involve the people closest to you. By sharing your goals publicly, your friends and family members can help keep you accountable. In addition, your loved ones can act as your support network. If you ever feel frustrated by slow progress on your resolutions, ask your loved ones for help. At home, consider placing your written goals on your fridge, and ask your family members to inquire about your progress regularly.

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For even more help with your goals, you can try planning some resolutions with your family. You can make many of the typical New Year’s resolutions more fun and enjoyable by including your loved ones, like encouraging your family to join you in your plan to eat three servings of vegetables a day. You can also work together to try out new recipes for dinners and snacks.

3. Reward Yourself

To stay motivated throughout the year, you must reward yourself for each benchmark you reach. If you’re trying to cut your spending habits, reward yourself after a successful month of budgeting. Don’t let your reward undermine your progress on your goal, however: in this case, select an affordable reward to motivate you, such as a day at the beach with your family.

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As you craft your list of New Year’s resolutions, you should also take the time to think about rewards for the goals you reach. Create a list of benchmarks that you plan to reach as you work through your resolutions, with each benchmark having a small prize associated with it. You can plan a bigger reward for each resolution you manage to maintain successfully through the year. Creating a list of rewards will help you stay motivated, especially when you feel close to giving up on your resolutions. Keep your list in a handy place so that you can refer to it occasionally for motivation.

Featured photo credit:  Man jump over 2013 number via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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