I’m not a fan of making resolutions because I’m afraid of failing at accomplish them, however I’m going to try something new this year and welcome the year 2015 with hope and desire. When I was younger, my yearly resolution was to improve my running times. It always worked out because I belonged to the running team in high school and college. Hard to fail when you have a support system geared to what you want to accomplish 😉 My resolution for 2015 is to get a location for my wellness center and help 30 clients a week. My resolution is centered on my desire to meet more people and make lasting connections. Your resolution might be related to changing a habit that causes harm to your well-being or changing a behavior that blocks your ability to cope with pain. Some resolutions are best dealt with a professional who can guide you. There have been studies by Roy F. Baumeister explaining that “willpower” is like a muscle, when you exercise self-control you build up a capacity to change.
TIPS to be successful with your RESOLUTIONS in 2015
- Start Small with reachable goals
- Give yourself time to get used to a new routine. For example, if your goal is to exercise, make a schedule to exercise 3 times a week, instead of saying I’ll exercise more. Make your goal specific and fun. Try something completely different even if it’s trying almond milk instead of cow’s milk.
- Change One Behavior at a Time
- Since both healthy and unhealthy behaviors develop over a period of time, it will take a while to change. Work towards changing a little bit and taking away those habits that harm your well-being.
- Tell your Friends
- Share with others your aspirations. When you have someone to share your struggles and successes it makes it easier to carve a healthier journey. Your family and friends will be inspired by your changes! Another idea, join a support group to reach your goals in a community.
- Perfection is Unattainable
- Sometimes you might have a misstep but it will be Okay. Giving up will only make you feel bad, but continuing will empower you to believe that you can reach your goals. So what? if it takes longer than you were prepared to do so. Everyone has ups and downs!
- Ask for Support
- It is empowering to know that we can do things on our own. I have found that I am most successful when I accept help from those around me. Your resolution might cause some stress if your expectations are not met, however with someone by your side s/he can listen and strengthen your resilience. A professional can offer strategies to help you adjust your goals as well as guide you to change unhealthy behaviors.
- Keep Track
- When you write down or keep track of your progress, you will accomplish your specific goal. There are many apps that keep track of your exercise, your weight, your positive thoughts and even going to the doctor for semi annual check ups. For example, if you want to save money, before you even start to save it, you need to know how much you are spending. Keeping track of your expenditures allows you to know where you have been, saving money tells you where you are going, when keeping track of your money, it becomes easier to change your impulses when going to the mall.
Resolutions are not easy and maybe you don’t need to determine them every year. I have learned to pay attention to my unconscious and how it can keep nagging my consciousness until I give it a specific well determined and attainable goal. The most successful tip is keep track of the steps you are taking to getting to your goal as well as talk to a friend, family or professional. You can do it alone, but it is more rewarding when you accept help.
For further reading:
- Baumeister, R., & Tierney, J. (2011) Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. New York: Penguin Press.
- Duckworth, A. (2011) The significance of self-control. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108, 2639-2640.
- Moffitt, T., et al. (2011). A gradient of childhood self-control predicts health, wealth, and public safety. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108, 2693-2698.