Every year, millions of people resolute to do something different in their lives. Whether it’s managing your finances better, getting in shape, going back to college or just slowing down and appreciating life’s simple moments, at the core of every New Year’s resolution is the goal to bring about a positive change. And change isn’t always easy.
Here are five tips to help you help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions no matter what the year brings.
- Set Clear Resolutions: This might sound obvious, but the first step to keeping a New Year’s resolution is to establish them in the first place. Think long and hard about what you want to accomplish and give yourself a specific goal and timeline. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, be sure to include how much weight you’d like to lose and by when.
- Make Actionable Steps: Once you’ve defined your resolutions, focus on turning them into actionable steps. By breaking your goals into smaller action items, you’re more likely to achieve them. A goal of losing 10 pounds could easily be broken down by eating a healthier diet, working out more or waking up earlier to cook a healthy breakfast.
- Build Upon Your Progress: Nobody said you have to commit to a full change all at once. In fact, it’ll be easier to start small and work toward a larger goal. To continue with the weight-loss example, maybe you could start out by taking your dog for a walk 3-4 times a week. Once you’re comfortable with that, add 30-minute gym sessions and so on.
- Know It’s Not Always Going to be Easy: But it will get better. Sometimes you’ll have to force yourself to cook a healthy dinner instead of getting takeout or wake up extra early to study. Changing your routine requires you to get out of your comfort zone. Figuring out little ways to help you along the way—like prepping your healthy dinners all at once or setting an extra alarm for morning study sessions—will help you anticipate and overcome the initial uneasiness.
- Let Yourself Get Frustrated: Yup, you read that correctly. Like we mentioned before, change doesn’t come easy. If you find yourself getting frustrated or having a hard time adjusting to change, slow down, take a breath, and focus on the progress you’ve already made. It gets easier with time.
What are your New Year’s resolutions? Share yours with us in the comments below.