A brand-new year is upon us – a clean slate that is ours to fill with new hopes, dreams, and ambitions. It’s also the time when most of us are silently pondering over our New Year’s Resolutions, hoping against hope to follow through on them, till the end of the year and wondering if that’s even possible.
In its simplest form, a resolution is a clear intent, a firm decision or the resolve to do something or to stop doing something, within a pre-defined timeframe – say next 12 months.
Interestingly, a resolution doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated or intense to be taken seriously. Your New Year’s resolutions can be as simple as cutting down on social media time, eating more greens, starting a hobby, taking time to pause every day, or just saying thank-you more often.
Though making resolutions is a matter of personal choice, a lot of us stop making resolutions because we almost never get around to keeping them longer than a few weeks or a couple of months – max.
BENEFITS OF NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS AND AN APPROACH THAT WORKS
The right resolution can turn into a constructive habit and become a healthy part of your life, not just this year but for years to come. In fact, the more realistic your resolutions are, the greater are your chances of sticking to them till the 31st of December.
By keeping your New Year’s resolutions actionable, you can set positive and productive goals for yourself and learn to achieve them with discipline, patience, and mindfulness.
Now keeping in mind that making resolutions is a healthy habit, why is it that our resolutions turn into nothing more than fragile sandcastles that get swept away by the mildest wave of laziness, temptation or plain insincerity?
What has made us so cavalier about following through on our resolutions that we often laugh it off saying resolutions are meant to be broken?
Perhaps, we’ve been going about our resolutions the wrong way.
Instead of thinking of resolutions as mere wishes that may or may not come true, what if we think of them as our partners in progress; our go-to consultants for a healthier, joyous, and more productive life that we dream of every year and finally, start living it at least for the next 365 days?
Would that make you take them more seriously? I think yes.
8 TECHNIQUES TO STOP SLACKING ON YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
DITCH THE ATTITUDE
If you think resolutions are meant to be broken, you’ll never get around to taking them seriously. So this year, don’t just make resolutions, but also want them enough so you can stick to them all year round.
Being over-enthusiastic about your goals can set you up for failure. So if you’re planning to stick to your resolutions the entire year, be realistic about what you’re hoping to achieve in the months to follow.
For example, aiming to completely stop eating sweets and junk food this year when you’re a big sweet eater may not be the most practical or achievable goal. However, if you allow yourself a cheat day during the week, you’re much more likely to meet your healthy resolution!
WRITE THEM DOWN
You may be great at remembering things, but when it comes to your New Year’s resolutions, you must always put them down in black and white, (or colour if you prefer that) so you can refer to them regularly.
When you have your resolutions written down on paper (or your journal), you’ll feel a sense of accountability and a greater desire to work on them, every day.
To remind yourself of your resolutions, write them on little post-its and stick them up on the refrigerator, your file folder, your office cubicle, and just about anywhere you’ll easily spot them.
REMEMBER: OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND!
MAKE IT DETAILED AND SPECIFIC
Another great way to ensure that 2019 is the year you’ll finally stick to your resolutions till the very end is to be as specific and detailed about your goals as you can.
So, instead of saying, “This year, I’ll be kinder”, you should specify exactly how you’ll be kinder. “This year, I’ll be kinder by devoting 2 hours each week, volunteering at the ‘X’ orphanage or the ‘Y’ Old Age Home.
Even though your New Year goals are your own, it never hurts to have some positive reinforcements to ensure that you won’t forget them halfway into the New Year.
Talk to your family or your closest friends about your resolutions for 2019 and ask them to check in on how you’re doing every month – a great way to ensure that someone’s watching your back at the slightest chance of you slacking.
And while you’re at it, you can also motivate your closest lot to make and meet their resolutions in 2019 – after all, you got their backs too.
TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Most people feel suitably enthusiastic about their resolutions in January but by the time February waltzes in, the New Year is not so new anymore, and resolutions are a thing of the past.
Not this year. In 2019, devote a minimum of 10 minutes each week for tracking how you’re performing on your resolutions checklist. Whenever required, re-assess, re-establish and tweak your goals along the way so that you can keep making tangible progress.
This weekly habit will go a long way in helping you understand yourself better and working around any roadblocks that are distracting you from your goals.
LAUD YOUR SUCCESSES
Become your own cheerleader. Seriously. Every time you accomplish your weekly or monthly goal, tell yourself, “Bravo, you did it”.
Beating yourself down on things you messed up is just as counterproductive as patting yourself on the back is productive for all that you do right.
Savour the feeling of accomplishment and remind yourself of this sweet sensation whenever you’re drifting away from your goals.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
There will be days when you’ll forget or cheat on your resolutions. That’s okay, as long as you realize the need to go back to your checklist and start again.
Resisting change is human nature, and changing your habits is probably one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do. With this in mind, be happy that you’re trying to make positive changes in your life and don’t stop trying!
New Year Resolutions are great tools for self-improvement, and for making small yet significant changes to your life. Let 2019 be the year you finally stick to your resolutions and set the stage for a healthier, happier and joyous life.
I wish you a Happy New Year!
Tell me about your resolutions for 2019 in the comments section below.