Today is January 31st. Every year, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions. It may be to eat better, to exercise, to learn a new skill at work. But many of those resolutions fall by the wayside as of tomorrow.
However, there are some easy steps you can take to make sure you keep those promises to yourself going all year round.
1. Be realistic
Millions will have started a diet to either remove the Christmas baggage, or to change their long-term lifestyle. Diets are perfect for the former – they can help you ditch excess weight quickly. But to make long-term changes, you need to be realistic. You might say you’ll never touch carbs or that cheeky McDonalds ever again, but we all know that’s just not how life works. Besides, you want a life. You don’t want to be ostracised by your friends for never being able to go for a burger or a drink. Whenever you’re building a diet plan for yourself, take your actual life into account.
As a general rule, only make long-term goals that you can actually achieve.
2. Don’t expect big changes instantly
This contradicts a little bit what we’ve said above, but even the best diets or exercise plans take weeks to see real results. Any change you make to create long-term change may not see short-term results. Plus, progress is not always linear and smooth. Expect and plan for some rocky periods.
3. Schedule well
People always complain that they don’t have time to do things. Usually, though, they find time for things they value. Schedule what you need time on and stick to it, and choose a time of day when you have plenty of energy.
4. Tell your friends and family
Getting support from your social circle is important, as they can easily unwittingly stop you achieving your goals. If you let them know when you’re aiming for, however, they’re more likely to support you.
5. Write it down
When we write something down, it gains a level of permanence that typing something – or worst still, trying to remember it – doesn’t achieve. Keep a journal, or a notice board for yourself with your aims and charting your progress.