Losing weight, saving money and kicking the smoking habit rank as some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. The enthusiasm for achieving these resolutions is high on January 1st. Many people notice a sharp decline in motivation by the end of January. Sticking to New Year’s resolutions takes planning and persistence, with a healthy dose of realism. Be honest with yourself and get back on track if you find yourself straying from the path to a new you.
Create a list of potential New Year’s resolutions. Assess the list and select the most realistic and attainable goal. Avoid choosing several resolutions, instead focusing on one at a time.
Break the selected resolution into smaller, measurable steps. Create a time line for each step so you can assess your progress toward the end goal.
Tell everyone you know about your resolution. Proclaiming the resolution to everyone who will listen increases the chances that you’ll stick with the goal.
Ask your friends and family to provide support toward your goal. Give them specific suggestions based on your goal. For example, if you plan to lose weight, ask them not to offer you sweets or fast food.
Create a visual motivator for your goal. Make a collage with pictures that represent the outcome of your resolution or display a tangible reminder of your goals.
Evaluate your progress periodically to stay on track. Check off the smaller steps as you achieve them. Identify areas that are causing difficulty. Modify the plan as necessary to achieve the overall goal.
Give yourself little rewards along the way as you achieve the smaller steps in your resolution plan. Share your progress with others so they can join in the celebrations.