We all have a tendency to want to improve one or more areas of our life with the New Year approaching. So what makes a new resolution stick? What’s the magic formula for making positive changes that don’t fade away by mid-January? Here’s just a few tips on making long-lasting positive changes.
First of all, don’t sabotage yourself before you even get started. In other words, don’t set yourself up for failure by setting a goal way too high or impossible for you to attain. For example, if you decide you need to become more physically fit, don’t set an unrealistic goal. Exercising an hour a day, seven days a week might be setting yourself up for disaster if you have school and/or work commitments which would force you to be on the elliptical at ten o’clock every night.
Also, make sure this changes something that feeds your soul and makes you happy. Resolutions that are aligned with our personal interests, values, and goals are more likely to be long-lasting.
In addition to those points, be sure your new life changes are broken down into manageable steps. Losing weight is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Trying to reach your goal by only eating cottage cheese and carrot sticks for a week is not a recipe for success. Instead, break down your weight loss goals into realistic small steps, and allow time for small changes to become part of your routine lifestyle. For example, try cutting back on eating out, or try to be sure one a meal a day doesn’t include any refined carbohydrates, or instead of completely eliminating diet soda, try drinking only one soda a day.
Finally, become your biggest cheerleader. Celebrate your tiniest victories. And remember to be flexible and be patient with yourself. Give yourself a break when things don’t go exactly as you planned. Most importantly, remember that any type of permanent change takes time.