Make No-Fail New Year’s Resolutions

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What’s in store for you for 2023? Improved health? More wealth? A new job?

New Year’s resolutions are a common way for people to reflect on the past year and set goals for the year ahead.

Folks have been making new year’s resolutions AND breaking them for the last 200 years. Resolutions are promises to ourselves and promises are made to be broken, right? But…what if we make 2023 the year we stop breaking those promises? After all, when we can’t follow through on our own words, we’re only cheating ourselves.

The beginning of a new year symbolizes a fresh start. Forget what has happened in the past. You can’t change that. But you can focus on the areas you CAN change.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

You can decide to be one of two people…the one who watches and complains about what can’t be controlled OR the one who ignores those outside forces and puts efforts towards effective change for yourself. Which do you think is the healthier option?

But what makes a resolution stick? It’s easy to make a list of New Year’s resolutions just because that is what everyone else is doing, but it’s important that you’re setting goals that you are truly motivated to reach. Hopefully, these tips will help you get started:

1. Create a Vision Board

First and foremost, it’s important to look at yourself 12 months from now. Where do you want to be? Who do you want to be? How do you want to be living? Browse the internet and sift through magazines looking for photos, words, and phrases that represent the answers to those questions.

Grab a poster board and some glue sticks. Print and cut the photos and put them on the poster board. Your vision board can be digital, but you want to make sure you’re able to see it every day.

Vision boards are motivational tools with drawings, photos, words, phrases, and other items that are unique to you and help you clarify your resolutions and keep you focused on them. Daily motivation will help make your New Year’s resolutions stick.

“Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity, and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” – Edith Lovejoy Pierce

2. Document Your Vision Board

Saying, “I wish” means there’s a chance it won’t happen. Saying, “I will” gives your goal greater credence.

Get a journal because now you’ll want to document your visions. Any picture or phrase you have added to your board should go in your journal. For example, “12 months from now, I will be 30 lbs. lighter.” Be specific.

Vague goals like lose weight or save money are too general. Quantify them and give them a deadline.

Be honest with yourself about what you can realistically achieve in the coming year. Don’t set goals that are too ambitious, as this can set you up for disappointment.

3. Break Down Each Goal

You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just start with the first step. In other words, break down each goal into smaller, short-term, manageable goals. To lose 30 lbs. in 12 months, a short-term goal might be to lose 3 lbs. in January.

By setting mini-goals, you’ll be much more successful and motivated and gain momentum to encourage you to keep moving forward. After achieving each mini-goal, be sure to celebrate your success.

4. Create Action Items

In our weight loss example, document how you’re going to lose those 3 lbs. in January. Are you going to eat healthier? Are you going to exercise 30 minutes a day 4 times a week? Put that plan in writing.

Do you have a support person who is going to hold you accountable? Make a note of that and what he or she is going to do to help you stay on track.

4. Keep Track Of Your Progress

Stay motivated by setting smaller goals and tracking your progress.

Use your journal to track your progress. Bullet journal fans call this, “habit tracking.” The most effective form of motivation is progress. A signal that we are moving forward encourages us to stay motivated and continue down that path. Small wins become big wins. Focus on the process rather than the result.

5. Be Flexible

Life is unpredictable, so if a setback occurs, simply recognize it, own it, and get back on track as soon as you can. Patience is also key. If weight loss is your goal, the weight wasn’t gained in just a month, so it won’t all come off in just a month.

Don’t get discouraged – it’s all part of the process. Remember that it’s more important to make progress over time than to achieve everything at once.

Remember…we’re human…but we all have it in us to control our own path. Where is your path leading you?

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