Keeping your New Years Resolutions

What’s your New Year’s resolution? Are you setting a goal to lose weight, stop smoking, start exercising, or get out of debt? Unfortunately, the odds are against you, as statistics show roughly 80% of New Year’s resolutions are broken by February. Why is it that it’s so hard to keep these resolutions, yet we constantly feel the need to set them year after year? Maybe it’s the “this year will be different”, “New Year, new me” mindset. However, we need to realize that a change in lifestyle will require planning, discipline, and sacrifice that we have not previously been accustomed to.

Good news! If you’re given the right tools to properly execute your resolution, you are more likely to keep it rather than giving up so quickly! Here are some quick tips to keep you motivated and on track:

Set reasonable goals.  If your goal is to run 3 miles a week, and you haven’t run 3 miles in the last year, it’s probably not a good idea to pursue this resolution. This would be as effective if you were to say that you weren’t going to eat your favorite ice cream anymore! The idea is to improve, but not completely alter-your lifestyle. If you genuinely want to run 3 miles a week, make it a long term goal and take baby steps towards achieving it. Start off by taking a short walk a few days a week. Slowly transition into short jogs, then short runs.

Think ahead.  Don’t wait until January 1st to implement your resolution—get a head start. As soon as you set your goal, start applying it immediately! If you wait until the New Year, you are more likely to put it off even more, if not forget about it completely.

Use a support system.  The buddy system isn’t just for swimming anymore! Find a friend who shares the same goal that you do. With your personal support system, you can keep each other in check and catch each other when you start to fall. If you can’t find anyone to share your goal, at least tell your friends about your resolution. You are more likely to succeed with the help and support of your friends. Also, post reminders for your goal in visible places.

With these tips in mind, you should be able to ring in the New Year with a successful start!

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