Chances are, at some time in your life, you’ve made at least one or a couple of New Year’s resolutions – and then felt very guilty about breaking them. When it comes to pledges we make with ourselves, we are quick to let those go. Why is it so hard to keep promises we make to ourselves? And what is even more important – how to achieve our goals?
Why It’s a Challenge
Keeping commitments to yourself is a huge deal because it’s the basis for trusting yourself. And often, you might be at the end of your list for keeping commitments. The things you’ve promised other people always happen to come first. But this works like the oxygen mask on the airplane: you must take care of keeping your word to yourself first to be really effective for other people. So, you’d better take self-promises as seriously as the obligations you take on for others. More so, even. If you have a problem with this, one big reason could be because there’s no reward for it, because it’s just between you and you.
What You Can Do and How You Can Do It
How to stick to your New Year’s resolution? Write it down! If there isn’t proof, did you really promise it? All joking aside, there is magic in writing down your promises. Many studies prove that people who put their goals on paper are significantly more likely to achieve them than those who merely make mental or verbal vows. Yours will matter most at the moment you make a resolution, and you’ll want to be able to recapture the intensity of that moment again and again.
Just in case you got carried away, write down any New Year’s resolution that comes to mind so you can pick the ones you care about the most. If there are too many ideas, why not consider getting them transcribed?
Share what you’ve written, too. If you have put yourself on a severe diet and someone says, “You look great!” – well, that is more than supportive. Social approval gives your brain a surge of soothing oxytocin, scientists explain.
Why Is It Good to Have a New Year Resolution?
Even if you’re not into New Year’s resolutions, making them is still a great idea. You have the perfect chance to be honest with yourself about your current condition, which is the first step to improvement. Moving forward in a direction you set for yourself positively affects your emotional and mental health.
New Year’s resolutions are inherently optimistic and hopeful. The expectation of things getting better motivates action. Those who don’t believe their future can be bright probably won’t take steps to work on themselves.
Tips to Help You Stick to New Year’s Resolutions
While some people stick to their resolutions without too much trouble, others usually fail sooner or later. Here are a few tips to make things easier and help you reach your goals!
Break things down
Once you have a good resolution, split it up into smaller chunks that are easier to handle. For example, if you want to lose weight, develop a workout schedule. After that, figure out which activity works best for you. After that, look for a nearby gym and get a membership. Breaking down your resolutions makes them significantly less overwhelming.
Update your resolutions regularly
Your New Year’s resolutions don’t have to take a whole year to complete. You don’t have to make all of them on the 1st of January, either. Even small goals like setting aside time for your favorite hobby can still be meaningful. Accomplishing something that makes your life better, even in a minor way, is still just as valuable as completing a large goal.
Look at them often
Once you have your New Year’s resolutions written down or transcribed, make sure you can see them every day. Put them on your desk, refrigerator, or nightstand! Add a checklist to your small goals to keep track of your progress, and treat yourself to crossing off something you accomplished.
Try the SMART Goals
In addition to getting it in writing, we would like to share with you the so-called S.M.A.R.T. concept of setting goals.
You should simplistically write down your goals. Clearly define what you are going to do. Your chances of completing a specific goal are much greater.
To have tangible evidence that you have accomplished the goal, you should establish concrete, measurable criteria for tracking progress toward the attainment of each goal.
Goals should make you feel challenged but still remain attainable enough, so you feel confident and determined as well. You must possess the appropriate knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to achieve the goal.
Is reaching your goal really relevant to you? To be relevant, a goal must represent an objective you are willing and able to work toward. A goal can be both demanding and realistic – you are the only one who can decide how much you want to succeed.
Goals should be time-bound. With no time frame, there’s no sense of urgency. So, set a firm deadline. Firm commitments that are set in stone are more likely to be kept.
Now It’s Your Turn
In the end, if our tips & tricks are not enough for you, check out this TED video in which the inspirational speaker Reggie Rivers shares his alternative view on goals and not focusing on them too much. Feel free to turn the captions on, and thank the one who diligently provided the speech transcript. Good luck!