Let this be the year you amaze yourself. Use these tips to nail those resolutions and finally stop feeling like you can’t trust yourself to keep the promises you make.
Decide how you want to feel
New Year’s resolutions aren’t just based on actions. They come from a desire to feel a particular way. Maybe you want to feel more energetic or confident in your jeans so you say you will work out or lose weight. Maybe you want to feel more successful in your career so you say you will take a class or find a mentor. Maybe you want to feel more financially secure so you say you will pay down debt and stick to a budget. Whatever the goal take some time now to identify the feeling behind it. The feeling is your why. When your why really matters to you it is easier to be motivated to work on the how of accomplishing the goal.
Make a plan for how you will navigate around obstacles
Setbacks are inevitable. The trick is not to view them as failures but as opportunities to rework your plan. If you spend outside of your budget or binge eat take some time to understand what triggered the behavior and make a plan to respond in a way that better supports your goal the next time. While you’re at it, be compassionate. It won’t help to beat yourself up. In fact, that will likely only make things worse. Instead, try saying to yourself something like I am only human. I am doing the best I can. My best looks different on different days. I forgive myself and feel encouraged to do better tomorrow.
Set up some support
One of the best ways to stick to a goal is to have some supportive accountability. Get a friend to work out with you or commit to a 90- day cash only (no credit) challenge. Talk with each other about the feeling you are after. What will it mean to you to reduce your debt? How will you feel when you lose ten pounds? How will accomplishing your goal add to your personal narrative or the story you tell you about yourself? Share as much as you can with your accountability buddy so she can offer meaningful encouragement when you need a little extra motivation.
Write it down
Don’t go overboard with your goals. Choose two that are most meaningful for where you are in your life right now. Write them down in a journal and include small steps you can take toward the larger goal. For example, you can save $25.00 each pay period or exercise three times each week. Chart your progress daily or weekly. You don’t have to wait until you accomplish the goal. You can plan small rewards along the way to celebrate your progress.
This will be the year you keep your promises to yourself. Decide how you want to feel, expect and plan around obstacles, get some support and celebrate each step. You’ve got this.