How to Craft & Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions
The end of the year has a way of reminding all of us where we fall short in our lives. Whether you are experiencing challenges at work, making your way through finals, or simply overwhelmed by the chaos of the holiday season, end-of-the-year stress can make you feel downtrodden and incapable of changing your bad habits.
I am a fan of fresh starts – forgiving your mistakes and wiping the slate clean. Luckily enough, we have the opportunity to start over as Christmas winds down, and the New Year begins.
Of course, it is hard not to be overly ambitious as you make a list of your resolutions. Us Type-A personalities strive for perfection, even if our standards are unattainable. Instead of beating yourself up over unrealistic goals, I have put together guidelines for you to consider as you think about what 2014 will mean to you.
Give yourself time to reflect on the year behind you
Most of us do not like to dwell on the things we wish we had done differently. However, taking time to acknowledge life changes and challenges you encountered over the past year can help you focus on areas of yourself you would like to improve.
Be realistic with your resolutions
Once you are aware of changes you want to make – whether it is eating healthier, exercising more often or volunteering in your community – it is important to keep your expectations in check. If you want to lose weight, give yourself time to change your lifestyle – do not expect to lose 10 pounds in a month. If you want to improve your relationship with your sister, make a pact to do something with each other every month – do not overwhelm her by trying to make plans every week. If you set realistic goals for yourself from the beginning, it is much easier to follow through with your resolutions as opposed to giving up on them after a month.
Make the commitment
Once you have narrowed down the resolutions you want to work toward in 2014, write them down. This simple step lets you see your goals instead of letting them spin around in your head. Once your list is complete, tape it on a wall in your room or in your office. When your goals are in a place where you can see them every day, you are more likely to make changes throughout the year to help you achieve them. If you want to keep your resolutions private, keep them in your purse.
In addition to writing your goals down, plan ahead to make them happen. Lay out your work out clothes ahead of time if you want to go to the gym four days a week. Let your roommates know you want to lead a healthier lifestyle, so they understand why you will be passing on late-night pizza runs.
I hope the tips outlined above help you follow through on next year’s resolutions. Tell Career Girl Network what habits you hope to change in a comment below!