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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 September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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