Although it’s only been about three weeks since we celebrated the start of 2016, many of us may have already forgotten some of the promises for change or goals we set for ourselves as part of our New Year’s resolutions. Even if you haven’t been fully committed, it’s not too late to start putting in the effort.
You chose your New Year’s resolutions with the intention of bettering your life. If you are constantly beating yourself over not living up to your own expectations, the purpose becomes self-defeating. Instead, try focusing on all the positive aspects you are gaining. For example, if your goal was to lose weight, and you haven’t really seen the numbers budge on the scale, try thinking about how much more energy you have from eating healthier or focus on your new found love of being outdoors while you continue to exercise. After all, Arizona is such a beautiful place to explore!
Writing down your goals can help as a reminder to yourself that every day you stay committed, you are one step closer to achieving success. Whether it’s keeping a journal and writing a few lines about what you did each day to reach your goal, keeping a log of improvements, or even writing on sticky notes and placing them in places that will always catch your attention and keep you on track, these are all ways to help flow your thoughts to reality!
Sharing your personal goals with your friends will not only help build the bond between you, but also keep you accountable. If your friend knows that your New Year’s resolution is to practice better manners and they see you holding the door open for someone or giving your seat up on the bus, your friend will not only be impressed, but they are likely to share how proud they are of you. This is a great way to boost your self-esteem and keep you on track to reaching your goal.
Always keeping your New Year’s resolution fresh in your mind will help you maintain your focus and commitment. Not all goals will become easier by reading a how-to book, but there are many ways you can direct your attention and stay motivated. Maybe you want to dress better in 2016? Don’t be afraid to pick up a magazine or begin reading a fashion blog about style. Even watching YouTube tutorials on easy hairstyles or makeup tutorials will keep you involved and trying new ways to reach your goal!
Achieving goals doesn’t happen overnight. Taking small steps will be more attainable, and with each victory you will be reminded that you are making progress. By setting a plan, you can take into consideration all of the different ways your New Year’s resolution affects your life positively. If you want to save a certain amount of money, part of your plan could be to do activities with your friends that cost nothing.
The next thing you know, you have become a great host because you invite your friends over to watch the game and you whipped up some killer bean dip to save money on going out for pizza and wings to catch the game. Or maybe instead of getting your nails done at the salon, you can invite your friends over and ask them to each bring their favorite nail polish, and suddenly you’re rocking a totally unique manicure with a color that you’ve never seen at a salon, and you saved a ton of money and got to hang out with your friends!
Using an app can help you keep track of your progress and keep you excited about your goal. If your New Year’s resolution was to switch to a vegetarian diet, for example, you could download the Pinterest app and create a vegetarian board to pin different recipes. This way, you will come across so cool tricks and tips, and will be less likely to get bored of eating a certain way because you will have endless new recipes to try.
Having a realistic time frame in mind will help you stick to keeping your New Year’s resolution. Many of us will blurt out a resolution, but won’t think up a plan to stay motivated. If your goal is to be able to run a mile without stopping, set an achievable pace to help yourself get there. During week one, push yourself to walk for 10 full minutes. Then the next week you could increase it to 15 minutes. After a month of progress, you will feel your body becoming stronger and will be able to push yourself further. You can then start challenging yourself in increments, like running for five minutes without stopping, then 10, then 20. Building up your momentum over the course of time will help keep you from burning out.
Each victory on your path to success deserves recognition, no matter how small. Say your New Year’s resolution was to reduce the stress in your life, so you decided to take up yoga. Once you master a certain pose, or even find yourself practicing deep breathing during stressful situations. Reward yourself in a way to help continue to reach your goal. You can do this by asking your sibling for a back massage, or getting a soothing candle to light during meditation. Self-validation in the form of the small rewards will help you to continue improving.
When you set out to change yourself for the better, and you take successful steps in getting there, you should be proud! You might be surprised by how suddenly, people look up to you and want to know your ‘secret’ to achieving your goals. Be honest along the journey, and share your story of the hard work and determination it takes.
If you still find yourself feeling discouraged, even after trying all of these tips, don’t be afraid to talk to someone. There are many people in your life who want to help you and see you happy. By simply asking, you could find mentor ship from a close friend, classmate, aunt or uncle, and even from a teacher or guidance counselor. Many people are willing to listen if all you need to do is vent, which sometimes makes you feel tons better, or even offer suggestions because they were once in your shoes. Just don’t be afraid to ask!