How to Keep Those New Year’s Resolutions

by Diana Rankin

They’re easy to make . . . and just as easy to break – those New Year’s resolutions. But you don’t have to break your New Year’s resolutions. Think of your resolutions as a promise to yourself. Give some thought to what you really want to change, and then give yourself permission to make the changes. The rest is practice.

Here are the tips that will help you keep those resolutions.

Make Your Resolutions Realistic

It’s easy to promise yourself that you’ll lose weight, meditate twice a day every day, get out of debt, be more compassionate to yourself and others, get organized, etc., but if you really don’t want to do any of these, you’ll last about a week, if that.

Make a list of those things you do want to change in your life, and then narrow the list down to one thing. That’s right one thing. We often overwhelm ourselves with trying to revamp our whole life. Start easy. You can always make another resolution in a few months once you have mastered the one you are making to yourself now.

Create a Visual Reminder and Track Your Success

A visual reminder such as a vision board or simple chart helps motivate you on those days you do not want to keep to your resolution. Let’s say that you’ve vowed to walk every day. Make a simple chart or use a calendar with a space where you can write down the time spent walking and the length of the walk. Track your success so you have a visual representation of your progress.

Visualize the Steps Along the Way as well as Your Goal

Spend a few moments before you go to sleep and visualize your goal and the reward that awaits you when you reach your goal. From your goal, visualize the step you need to take tomorrow to help you reach that goal. You may not know the step, but as you are visualizing your goal, ask for tomorrow’s step to be revealed, and it will come. It may be quite clear or it may be vague, but do your best. It will get easier as you continue.

Repeat the process when you first wake in the morning. Then take that step toward your goal.

Replace and Reward

Resolutions are hard to keep because we fall back into our old patterns until we are able to rewrite the old pattern. Replace the old habit you want to break with a new habit. For example, if you want to stop eating so much sugar, replace the sugary food with a satisfying and healthier food such as a cup of herb tea and a little bit of honey. Then give yourself a reward – which can be a short-term reward such as calling a friend to have them give you an atta girl or atta boy – or a long term reward such as saving the money or donating the money spent on sugar snacks.

Never Quit Because of a Setback

Setbacks are part of changing our ways. When you find yourself procrastinating instead of getting it done, return to your visual chart and to visualizing the goal and tomorrow’s step to that goal. And never beat yourself up because you got off track. Just gently-and firmly-bring yourself back.

Make it Fun

Enjoy the journey. If you have fun along the way, life will have its own rewards.

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