Monday, December 23, 2013

Tips for Setting New Year's Resolutions

It is that time of year again where many of us are starting to reflect on what we want to happen in the next year. Some of us will set New Year’s resolutions within the next couple of weeks. Many of us will also unsuccessfully break those resolutions before the end of 2014 (a few may even give up before the end of January… not naming names or anything).

As I begin to make my own resolutions, I wanted to share some tips for making yourself successful in obtaining your resolutions for 2014:

1.       Be realistic. Know your limits.
·         Do you really have the time to write 5 books this year?
·         Do you think you can successfully achieve climbing Mount Everest before the end of 2014? 
     You know what you are capable of. Don't set yourself up to fail. Aim for success!

2.       Keep the goals small and achievable. If a goal is too large, it can seem progress is not being made. Keeping goals small and incremental gives more opportunities for reward and increases self-confidence and competence.

3.       Use positive statements; that is, express goals positively. Such as, “I want to become healthy by exercising at least 3 days/week,” rather than “I want to not be overweight.” Although, both statements may be true, focus on the positives.

·         Make your focus be on the appropriate behavior you would like to achieve rather than on what you are lacking.

4.       Be precise and specific: Use dates, times, and amounts to measure achievement, to know the exact goal to be achieved, and to take satisfaction from having completely achieved it.

  • Each day of exercise, I will exercise a minimum of 45 minutes.
  • Each week, I will block out 3 days and timeframes that I will exercise for the week.
  • Every two weeks, I will earn a reward (I am thinking chocolate) for maintaining my exercise schedule.

5.       Set priorities: When you have several goals, give each a priority. This helps to avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many goals and helps direct attention to the most important ones.

6.       Record goals on paper and place them where you will see them daily (such as the main living room, bathroom mirror, next to bed, in your bible, in your car) to continue to motivate you and remind you of your goals.

7.       Record your progress! Keep track of where you are and where you have left to go.

8.       Celebrate along the way! Each time you move a step forward towards meeting your goals, CELEBRATE!

9.       Tell others about your goal(s)! They can help to support you, give you motivation when you need it, and also encourage you to continue when you hit a “bump.”

10.    Plan for setbacks. Heck, we all have a rough week (or month). Don’t let that deter you from meeting your goal. One off week doesn’t mean to toss your whole plan for change in the trash! Give yourself a break and start again!

I hope this helps you as you successfully work towards your New Year’s Resolutions.

So, what resolutions are you making for the New Year?

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