1) Why this resolution? It's important that your resolution has personal meaning. If you choose a goal because other people or society have suggested it, chances are you won't stick to it. The toughest clients to work with in therapy are those who are ordered to therapy or come to make someone else happy.
2) Be realistic. Set realistic goals. It's one thing to want to lose weight or quit smoking, it's another thing to set a goal of losing 5 pounds a week or stop smoking cold turkey. Do some research on your goal and get educated on what is realistic for you.
3) Pace yourself. I have a friend who stays away from the gym all of January. His reason is “because all of the New Year Resolution people will have quit by then so it's less crowded.” Most people exhaust all of their energy and motivation in the first few weeks. Slow down and keep a steady pace. You can't start a marathon off by sprinting.
4) Set yourself up for success. Give yourself a chance at success and create a plan or schedule before the New Year. You know you better than anyone so figure out what's going to help you be successful. Should you do it alone or have a partner? Keep a written journal, progress chart? Break your big goal into smaller ones?
5) Stay focused. I'm not necessarily talking about staying focused on your goal. I'm speaking more to focusing in on one, maybe two goals. Many people spread themselves thing by setting too many goals. The goals may be great, but your chances of success increase if you focus on one or two goals versus five or six.
6) Remember a setback doesn't mean failure. You gain a pound, break one of your rules, or do something that is the exact opposite of your goal. Big deal. No one is perfect and each time you have a failure is an opportunity to better yourself. Nothing is black and white. If you have a bad day, week, or month, there is always another day, week, or month where you can turn it around.
7) Reward yourself. Everyone needs rewards. Whether it's a vacation or a small treat, set up rewards for making progress or reaching goals. A reward can serve as that extra motivation to get you through a tough moment.
Good luck and Happy New Year!
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