A New Year, a new you.
The beginning of another 365 days is the perfect time to start fresh. Whether you’d like to eat healthier, lose weight, quit smoking or pick up a new hobby or skill, January 1 of a brand new year is a great day to start making those necessary changes.
The key to success? Don’t be too hard on yourself. Take it easy and measure your wins one day at a time. If your plan is to achieve long-term success, you’ll certainly want to avoid jumping right into something you find extremely challenging. After all, you have a whole year to achieve your end result. You’ll be thankful for allowing the time you need to succeed.
If 2016 did you wrong, why not start 2017 off right? Whatever it is you’d like to accomplish this year, you’ll want to be fully prepared before you start working hard for it. Check out our ten, failproof tips for successfully achieving any New Year’s resolution.
Being prepared ahead of time is absolutely your best indicator for success. If you wake up on New Year’s Day and suddenly decide you’d like to have a new year’s resolution effective immediately, you’ll be less likely to follow through with whatever it is you’d like to achieve. Planning ahead gives you time to think about it: is it realistic? What’s my strategy? How long will it take? These are all questions that need to be answered ahead of time.
You may also find it helpful to create a timeline or a calendar to follow religiously. If you have deadlines put in place, you’ll be fully prepared to stay on track and set yourself up for success in the long run.
Do your research.
It’s more than likely that others have once wanted to achieve the same goal as you. A simple Google search about your resolution can keep you informed on the topic and help prepare you for exactly what needs to happen. What specific things should you do to accomplish your end goal? Is there an expert on the topic that can provide me with valuable information? Educating yourself on the topic and the process of your resolution will prepare you for what’s to come once you get started.
Don’t go overboard.
Stray away from the life-altering New Year’s resolutions. The more drastic your changes are, the less likely you are to complete your overall goal. If there’s a few things you’d like to work on, pick one that’s most important to you and figure out a long-term plan for success. If you make changes one at a time, you’ll avoid feeling overwhelmed, overworked and most importantly, the risk of giving up too soon.
Ease into it.
Nothing great has ever been accomplished in a short time-frame. If your goal is to eliminate a bad habit or begin something you’ve never done before, taking it slow is all the more important. Start out small, take it step-by-step and gradually face larger challenges as you progress. Your chances of long-term success are greater if you slowly accept the changes you’d like to make.
Anticipate good and bad days.
Realistically, you can’t always be at the top of your game. That’s just one of the human elements we have to accept. You can’t avoid feeling different on a day-to-day basis and some days, you’ll feel more motivated and optimistic than others. Don’t let the bad days get to your head and anticipate their occurrence ahead of time. If you expect that you’ll feel discouraged at some point throughout the process, you’ll be prepared to overcome those feelings and wake up refreshed and ready to go the next morning.
Keeping your eye on the prize is always a great way to stay motivated, but sometimes it’s not ideal for a plan that takes patience and time. If you set up a timeline with smaller goals leading up to your ultimate goal, your progression will be consistent and overall, easier to keep up with. Creating sub-goals allows you to focus on the process and taking it one step at a time rather than diving in face first and charging toward one, giant end result. Slow and steady wins the race, they say!
Keep a journal.
You don’t have to write “Dear Diary’ at the top of every page, but keeping a journal and recording your actions will help reflect on your individual successes and understand how you feel about it on a day-to-day basis. You’ll be able to track your progress, release any feelings of discouragement and look back on your hard work after you’ve successfully accomplished your end goal!
Everyone needs to be reminded of their “to-do’s” every now and then. Set up and plan reminders to keep you on track and strengthen your memory of exactly what needs to get done. Even if you simply send yourself a short, motivational quote every morning, you’ll be providing yourself with something to strengthen positivity, keep you on your feet and form a habit that will stick with you long-term. You’ll get into the swing of things eventually and soon enough, your routine will start to feel natural.
Schedule rewards as you progress.
What good is having a goal if you can’t reward yourself for your accomplishments? Instead of being too serious about your end goal, cut yourself some slack and allow a few rewards as you begin to progress toward your desired result. Reinforcement is psychologically proven to help you create a mindset for success and perseverance.
If your ultimate goal is to lose weight or get fit, throw in a piece of cake as a treat for all the hard work you’ve done. You deserve it, and you’ll feel less stressed when you get to indulge every now and then.
Include family and friends.
Don’t start making changes to your lifestyle without telling anyone about it. The support from loved ones gives you another reason not to give up, and you’ll have trusted opinions and unbiased advice to rely on when things get tough. If you leave your success up to the voices in your own head, you can really psych yourself out and fall backward. Seek out support and encouragement from family and friends to lift your spirits, stay focused and keep you on your toes. You’ll be heading for success in no time!
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