One of the most forwarded messages every New Year’s eve is about determining and making resolutions. However, as the new year rolls by, the determination behind these resolutions seemingly fade and eventually the resolutions are just that without any concrete results to show for.
More often than not, these resolutions get added to the list of resolutions for the next year. Knowing that several others are doing the same gives us a good reason to laugh about it while burying any sense of disappointment from resolutions not kept.
The trouble with most resolutions are that they are often made in isolation without taking into account aspects of reality. For example, one of the most common New Year’s Eve resolutions is about losing weight and it sounds like a tremendously achievable goal at that point in time. The challenge of sticking to the resolution hits us when we are first offered a yummy dessert. From that first encounter with a calorie filled yummy treat to the next and then the next, sticking to our resolution of losing weight becomes a series of challenges to be surmounted.
A month and half into the New Year, let’s look at a few interesting tricks and hacks that will help you stick to your resolutions.
1. Be Realistic
The list of New Year resolutions are often made with that burst of energy and hope we experience at the beginning of something new. It is not uncommon that we take on more than we can probably hope to achieve. Sticking to a resolution requires continuous motivation and reaffirming your committment to the same. Hence it would be a good idea to deliberate our priorities, assess our motivation and then realistically choose the resolutions we will most likely stick to and achieve for the year.
Being too ambitious and then giving up on the resolutions will only discourage you; hence be realistic about your resolutions.
2. Break it down into smaller achievable goals
If you want to lose 12 kgs this year, then that goal must be further broken down to smaller goals of losing 1 kg per month. With such a breakdown into sub-goals, you are able to make the goal more achievable and are less likely to be daunted at the task at hand.
3. Think Short-Term
Making a resolution for the year might lull you into thinking that there is enough time to achieve the goal. On the other hand, if you think about the goal in smaller units of time, then you will be more focussed and likely to achieve the sub-goals that will in turn provide you more motivation to keep sticking to the resolution.
For example, say you resolve to quit sugar. A focused approach here would entail reducing sugar intake first and then gradually cutting it out of your diet altogether. To do this, you should first look at reducing one sugary item from your regular diet every week or so. The time-bound focus on removing one sugary item will help you see progress as it is easily measurable and help in course correction should you fall short somewhere.
4. Track, reward and re-engage
So, you have set a realistic goal, created sub-goals and you are tracking their achievement over the short term. Sounds like you are on track; now it is time that you congratulate yourself. Every now and then, take out the time to review your progress and reward yourself on sticking to your resolutions and achieving goals. This further helps in motivation and reinforces your belief in being able to successfully achieve the goal and keeps you on track.
If you find yourself falling short, remember that change is often hard and slow. It would be good to be patient about things working out while you persevere in making it happen.
5. Fail Better
Achieving your resolutions is also about your approach to it with respect to what works and what doesn’t. It is always useful to understand from your own experiences as well as from others’ about what maximises your chances of a success.
Understanding about the nature of the beast that keeps you from achieving your resolutions and by learning from your past experiences and that of others, you are more likely to have a better shot at success. Even if you don’t at least you failed better and that is infinitely more useful than trying a unsuccessful approach again and again.
Hope you find these tips useful; so till the next New Year’s eve then, good luck!
What are your resolutions this year? Please list them in your comments below and also share the challenges you face in its pursuit.