My benchmark for new year's resolutions is April 10th, 2018, the 100th day of the year. How many resolutions did you make last year that were totally out the window by April? If you're like most of us, they were long gone by spring. This year, let's make things different! I want your resolutions to be thoughtless habits by April, so follow my 10 ways to make your resolutions stick!
1. Write them down.
What do you want to accomplish in 2018? Do you want to lose weight? Exercise more? Join a club? Complete a race? Find a new job? Whatever you want to do, write it down!
2. Break them down into actions.
Let's say you want to lose weight in 2018. What small actions can you take to accomplish that goal? You could exercise 4 time a week, eat more fruits and vegetables, go on after-dinner walks, weigh yourself once a week, etc. Most resolutions are very broad, general goals, so break them down further into bite-sized things you can do.
3. Assign those actions to months.
Those after-dinner walks will definitely help keep you active and away from the cookies that call your name in the evening, but there's probably not a great chance that you'll be heading out at night in January or February. Take all of your small actions and assign them to months. Maybe you will start eating more fruits and vegetables in January, weigh yourself weekly in February, start going to the gym more often in March and add in those after-dinner walks in April.
FYI: Just because an action is assigned to a month doesn't mean that you stop doing that action when the month is over. The actions are meant to build up, so theoretically you will still be eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and weighing yourself weekly in April when you're taking after-dinner walks.
4. Post reminders.
Before something is a habit, it can be hard to remember to incorporate it into your daily life. If you tend to be forgetful, post fun reminders around your house to keep you on track. I have a reminder on my refrigerator that says "NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS AFTER 7PM" to remind me that I shouldn't be eating late. Whatever you need help with, leave yourself friendly reminders so you can't lose your focus!
5. Get a goal buddy.
You're much more likely to stay on track with your resolutions if you've got a friend resolving to do the same things! My friend and I are both resolving to incorporate one long training run into our weekly schedule, so she's always checking in on me to make sure I've done it and vice versa. Sometimes we take our long runs together! It definitely helps to have a partner to hold you accountable.
6. Tell someone.
I am usually on the fence about telling someone my goals, because it's been scientifically proven that telling someone about an accomplishment is equally as rewarding to our brains as actually accomplishing it, but in the case of resolutions, I say go for it. By telling someone your resolutions, you're more likely to stick with them. Find someone to share your resolutions with, and you might even make yourself a new goal buddy!
7. Think positively.
Sure, your resolutions might seem difficult to achieve, but you can do anything you set your mind to! Before you fall asleep, imagine yourself accomplishing your goals. See yourself crossing the finish line, achieving your healthiest weight, opening your offer letter or going out with your new friends. The more optimistic you are about your resolutions, the more likely you are to achieve them.
8. Prep yourself.
What will you need to successfully stay on track with your resolutions? Do you need a new scale? Healthier food in the pantry? A new resume? A training plan? Whatever you need, get it together ASAP! There's no need to wait to set yourself up for success. Get your tools together now!
9. Make a commitment.
Do you want to run a race? Sign up! Looking for a new job? Sign up for that recruitment website! Ready to lose weight? Buy that dress you've been eyeing in your goal size. Do whatever it takes to make your resolutions feel "official."
10. Acknowledge that you will mess up.
So many of us live on the "all or nothing" train, on which we decide that if we screw up, we give up. That's probably the reason you haven't successfully stuck to any of your previous resolutions - you messed up and subsequently quit. This year, try something different. Head into 2018 with the understanding that you won't be able to be 100% perfect all 365 days of the year. Put a plan in place for when you mess up, and be ready to get back on the horse.
No matter what your 2018 resolutions are, you can absolutely accomplish each and every one of them!