Do your resolutions for 2015 look suspiciously like your resolutions for 2014, and the year before? As women, we often de-prioritize our lives and our happiness in favor of others’ needs. We get busy. We get sidetracked. And change isn’t easy.
That sudden, intense burst of motivation we feel on New Year’s Day tends to fizzle as we resume old patterns by February. Permanent change for your health and wellbeing requires modifying and changing little things over the long haul. We need “stick-to-it-ness” to turn our goals into realities.
So, how do we stay motivated over the long term? Here are 10 tips to help you stick to your resolutions:
- Make your goals attainable – You can start small in order to attain bigger goals. You might not be ready to do the River Run by Spring, but you can start by setting aside time for a daily walk.
- Design a series of milestones – If you’re trying to lose weight, start with a half-pound loss. If you’re wanting to exercise more, start with 30 minutes three days per week. Break it down into 10-minute exercise breaks throughout your busy day.
- Be specific – Write down what you have resolved to do, limit your resolutions and prioritize.
- Track your progress – Motivate yourself by celebrating your successes and sharing with friends and family. No need to over-monitor; evaluate yourself once a week to get a benchmark but don’t self-assess every day.
- Don’t compare yourself to others – Accomplish your goals in a way that works for you.
- Observe without judging – You haven’t failed if you get up and try again. Commend yourself for your efforts and observe your own behavior in a neutral way, without self-judgment or shame.
- Recruit a stick-with-it buddy – Find a friend who shares similar goals and motivate each other. Don’t keep your resolutions a secret. Tell friends and family members who can help support you.
- R, R and R – Review positive outcomes, reward yourself and readjust your goals. Use a log, fitness tracker or mobile app to measure your progress. Most of us are surprised to see how far we’ve come and are motivated to keep going. If something is not working, readjust your goals rather than quit. Slow and steady progress is better than no progress.
- Post your list – Put it in a visible space as a reminder and for encouragement. Create your own positive thoughts and encourage yourself to stick with it.
- Learn from your mistakes – Don’t give up because of a setback. Stay positive. Examine why you had trouble getting up for a morning walk/jog, or making it to a group class. Come up with ways to remove obstacles and avoid the setback next time.
As you head into the new year, reflect on what you’ve accomplished. Know that every experience has taught you something important, and pat yourself on the back for getting this far. Think about how your knowledge today can help you continue to evolve into a better person. Keep yourself motivated and stay on track. Stick with it. You deserve it!
Join the conversation at free, small group gatherings during January and February on how to stick to your resolutions. Because Good for You is here to help you achieve your goals.