The Right Way to Set New Year’s Goals

Ah, the New Year. Now’s the time to start tacking your goals and resolutions! But, this year, instead of setting irrational resolutions like hitting the gym every single morning before work and giving up sugar completely, it’s time to set reasonable goals, and make them work – your way. Resolutions should motivate you, not stress you out so much that your entire life is in shambles because of them. Read on for the best ways to make your New Year’s resolutions stick.

Only set attainable goals for yourself. Here’s a thought: instead of saying you’re NEVER going to eat dessert again, allow yourself your favorite sweet treat once a week – one bite or a single treat isn’t going to send you spiraling out of control. This is the best way to set yourself up for success since you’re not completely limiting yourself from the things you love.

Instead of making a resolution on the eve of New Year’s, plan ahead! This will ensure that your resolution is not based on your emotions that particular day, and that it’s actually something that you’ve been thinking about for some time. So go ahead, and set your goal(s) at least a month ahead of time.

Be prepared for the worst. Some days, you may just not be feeling your resolution, so there’s got to be a back-up plan. It’s always helpful to have a trusted friend to call, book to read, quote to recite, or class to attend to remind you of your goal when times get tough.

Tell your friends what you’re doing! Instead of keeping your resolution secret, tell a friend or family member who can help hold you accountable if you get off track. It should be someone you know supports you and your endeavors, and wants to help. The best bet? Sharing your resolution with a friend or significant other – there’s no better way to stay motivated!

If you’re feeling particularly successful, celebrate by treating yourself to something special that won’t completely ruin your resolution. For example, if you’ve been working out and eating well, reward yourself with a new fitness outfit or attend a class you’ve been meaning to try with a friend.

Keep track of everything – even your smallest accomplishments. Short-term goals are easy to keep, so instead of patting yourself on the back for not eating sweets for a month, be proud of yourself for staying away from sweets for 5 days straight. Keep track of your day-to-day so you can look back and revel in your success! Looking for some tools to help you do so? We love all of these!

Being militant about your goals won’t help. Jeff Janata, chief of psychology at UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, explains, “I remind people that we’re human and we’re not perfect. We’re going to mess up throughout our entire lives.” Becoming obsessive about everything you do will make you feel stressed and unmotivated. Instead, do the best you can every day, and if you make an occasional mistake, accept it, move on, and keep on truckin’!

Studies show that it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit and 6 months for it to become a part of your life. Change won’t happen overnight, so work hard, be persistent, and accept that some goals may take longer than others. Always remember – patience is a virtue!

If you slip up, don’t let it ruin your resolution! These things happen, and when they do, start over again! To start, recommit yourself for 24 hours, then move on to 48; by day 3 or 4, you’ll be back on track – trust us!

What are your 2015 resolutions?

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