According to a study from the Journal of Clinical Psychology at the University of Scranton, only 8% of Americans achieve success with their New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, many people make them on NYE, then quickly forget about them a few weeks later, or let their minds convince them that they could never accomplish their goals, and give up on the idea altogether. If this sounds like you, use these tips keep your resolutions alive well into the new year:
5 ways to keep your New Year’s resolution going strong:
1. Strive for excellence, not perfection
No one is perfect, so don’t beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon. Just pick yourself back up, and remind yourself that each day serves as a new beginning. You can easily dust yourself off and get back on the horse, no matter how far you’ve fallen. Just because it’s taking longer than you thought to reach your goal, doesn’t mean you should accept defeat and leave your resolutions in the dust. After all, you might be only a few feet away from the mountaintop without even knowing it, so keep striving toward your goals if it feels right in your heart.
2. Remember your “why”
Why do you want to achieve the goals you set for yourself? How will this make your life better, and make you feel more fulfilled? Reference your “why” often so that you can remind yourself what made you start this journey in the first place. When you remember why you set a certain goal, you will be much more likely to follow it through to the finish.
3. Practice positive affirmations
If you don’t already, set aside a few minutes each morning to set your intentions for the day. Make time to sit alone with your thoughts, and notice any negative thinking patterns. Then, try and transmute these negative thoughts into positive ones by reminding yourself of all the reasons why you can stick to your resolutions. Say things to yourself such as “I am powerful and can reach any goal I have in mind” or “Nothing will stop me from achieving my goals.” This will set the stage for your day, and help you stay on track.
Also, don’t be afraid to practice positive affirmations at any time you need them, whether that be at your desk at work, at the gym, or at school. Simple, positive reminders can really help you stay focused and keep your energy levels up.
4. Set small, measurable goals to keep you motivated
If you have several large goals set for the year, you might become discouraged if you feel you have to climb mountains in one setting just to reach your dreams. Instead, aim for the ledges along the way up, and set realistic time frames for achieving each goal. Break up your big goals into smaller milestones that you set over the course of a few weeks or a few months; this will make your goal seem more attainable, and help you stay motivated.
For example, maybe you want to lose fifty pounds. This can seem like a daunting task, especially if you have never developed a steady workout routine before. However, you can achieve your overall goal easier if you break it up into smaller ones. Maybe you could set a goal to lose ten pounds each month for five months, or five pounds a month for ten months. Set goals that won’t overwhelm you, and make sure you congratulate yourself each time you hit your target.
5. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones
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As aforementioned, negative thoughts can drain you of energy and make you anxious about the outcome of your goals. Instead of worrying, talking down on yourself, and getting angry at yourself, empower yourself with positive thinking practices and good energy. Become aware of negative thoughts, but don’t become attached to them. Just let them come into your brain, and then focus your attention on something else. Meditation provides a great way to practice this because it allows you to take the role of the silent observer of your thoughts, which will help you identify negative thinking patterns.