How to Make Your New Year’s Resolution a Reality

5 Sure-Fire Approaches to Reaching Your Goals

Every year we set our best intentions for the New Year and make resolutions. We discuss what we’re going to do in the weeks ahead that will make the coming year more productive, more relaxed or whatever our personal goals are. But by week three, most of that thought, effort and devotion probably gets tossed out the window. Seems like we find comfort in going back to what we know. If that scenario sounds familiar, then maybe it’s time to take a new approach and conquer this age-old problem. Therefore, here are a few suggestions on how to make your New Year’s resolution a reality for the coming year.

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1. Start Early
As the famous saying goes, “Don’t put off ‘til tomorrow what you can do today.” If you’ve got a goal in mind, there’s really no reason to wait until January 1 to start. If you started preparing now to meet a goal for the New Year, by the 1st it will already have become a part of your daily routine. You’ll be weeks ahead of schedule and you could already see progress that will carry you into the New Year.

2. Take Baby Steps
A New Year’s resolution is something you don’t currently do, but you want to make it a part of your everyday life in the coming year. That’s no small feat, and the statistics say that while half of the American population will make a New Year’s resolution, only eight percent of them will keep it. However, if you don’t want to be one of the people who fail, take baby steps. If your goal is to walk a mile each day, start by walking around the block each day, and then go a little further each day the next week. The progress you see will keep you motivated and will probably get you to do more. Remember, setting a goal doesn’t mean you have to meet it on your first time out.

3. Don’t Get Discouraged
Starting a new habit typically takes an average of 21 days, and sometimes it takes longer. Be patient with yourself and try not to beat yourself up in the first three weeks. If you let a negative attitude take hold, you’ll probably screw up, get discouraged and drop the resolution altogether. Even if you walk for five minutes on a day you promised yourself to do 10 minutes, take stock in the fact that you at least made the effort and promise yourself to do better next time.

4. Let Others Know You’ve Set a Goal
One way to make your New Year’s resolution a reality is to let others know you have a goal. This will add an accountability factor to your resolution. People will ask how you’re doing with your goal. Whether they’re encouraging you or secretly waiting for you to fail doesn’t matter. If you don’t share your resolution with someone, it will probably make it too easy for you to give up and not feel foolish when you don’t accomplish what you set out to do.

5. Try Some Reverse Motivation
The best way to approach your resolution is to ask yourself why you want to change, rather than what you can do to change. Let’s take walking a mile a day as the example again. If your endgame is to be slimmer, remind yourself about how you felt the first time your jeans no longer buttoned easily. You don’t want to feel that way again! It’s not that you wanted your pants to be looser. You just wanted to close them without lying on the bed, and turning blue from not breathing.

Try, Try Again

In conclusion, the best advice on how to make your New Year’s resolution a reality is to follow the old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Even with your best effort to make your resolution part of your routine, the truth is that it takes real work and determination to change, quit or start a new habit. Therefore, you must have a reason for your goal if you want to feel good about accomplishing it. With one goal turned into a new habit, you can move onto your next goal feeling more confident, and it will probably be easier the next time around. You can do this.

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