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Tips for a Successful New Year’s Resolution

Tired of your New Year’s resolution grinding to a halt by the middle of January? These tips can help you overcome the inevitable hurdles everyone experiences to keep your resolution going through 2022 and beyond.

Choose a Specific Goal

Instead of selecting an ambiguous goal like “losing weight” or “getting in shape,” choose a very specific, achievable goal. For example, you might commit to losing 10 pounds, making daily to-do lists, or running a mini-marathon. Be sure to make your goal realistic rather than drastic.

Plan for Obstacles

There will always be temptations and obstacles that could easily derail you from your resolution. It may be an invitation to dinner that could blow your budget–or your diet. Think about the obstacles you’re likely to encounter in the first weeks after establishing your resolution. Consider how you’ll navigate these challenges and develop a plan.

Track Your Progress

You need to know if you’re headed in the right direction. So it’s important to find a way to track your progress. Use an app or a calendar to check off the days you work on your goal. Or create a chart, spreadsheet, or graph that helps you visualize your progress. When you’re able to see how you’re doing and the steps you’re taking, it can remind you how far you’ve come.

Embrace the Buddy System

One of the biggest mistakes people make when setting New Year’s resolutions is trying to achieve them alone. Having a buddy alongside you who has similar goals or simply wants to support you can make a huge difference in whether you achieve your resolution.

Reward Yourself for Achievements

Resolutions shouldn’t be all about hard work and no fun. That’s why it’s important to reward yourself for the achievements you make, no matter how big or how small. Occasional rewards provide tangible proof that your resolution plan is working well and that you are improving yourself little by little.

Ask Others to Keep You Accountable

People who stick to their resolutions ask others to keep them accountable so that it’s more difficult to fall back into bad habits. Tell as many people as you feel comfortable with what your resolutions are, and encourage them to check in with you periodically for updates on your progress.

Find a Purpose

One of the first steps in creating a resolution is identifying an area of your life you’d like to improve for positive growth. Reflect upon how this new habit will fit with your values and why you genuinely want to make this change, which will motivate you to act upon it. Oftentimes, we set goals influenced by what others expect of us, which end up failing because of our lack of inner willpower.

Stick to It

Sticking to a plan is going to be the hardest part of keeping a resolution. Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit, and 6 months for it to become part of your personality. New healthful habits will become second nature in no time.

Practice Patience and Forgiveness

Even with the best of intentions and motivations, it is all too common to lose sight of resolutions when life gets hectic and your attention is needed elsewhere. Through the ups and downs, practice patience and forgiveness with yourself, acknowledging that no one is perfect and that you are on the right path.
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