New Years Resolutions
With each new year upon us, we sometimes find an internal "nudge" or pressure from others to evaluate ourselves and think about ways to improve our lives or relationships. Each year, millions of people make New Year's resolutions as a means of self-improvement. Some examples of these resolutions are:
- A new commitment to physical health (the increase in health club memberships during this time reflect this)
- Becoming better-organized
- Getting finances in order
- Re-evaluating relationships, careers or whatever else gives us purpose
New Year's resolutions can be a great motivator to improve our own wellness, however, oftentimes New Years' resolutions are often broken. Why is this?
Poor planning, or lack of determination or motivation are often common. Below are some guidelines to help you make appropriate resolutions and to help you stay on track.
Your goals should be measurable. If you have never run a mile, don't schedule yourself to run a marathon in a few months. Pace yourself. Break your goals down into short- and long-term goals.
Make Your Goals Measurable
"I want to save money" is not a goal, it is a wish. "I will save X% amount of my income" is a measurable goal.
Everything in Moderation
Health care professionals have noted that diets usually do not work. Enjoy things in moderation. If you completely deny yourself of something enjoyable for a long period of time, you will likely only find that your craving gets stronger until you find yourself bingeing.
Schedule Personal Time
Allow yourself time to sit back and reflect on what is important to us. Over-scheduling yourself and not taking time for stress management will likely limit your ability to follow through on your resolutions.
When you attain a goal, acknowledge your accomplishment and take the time to do something rewarding. Treat yourself to something you enjoy. Rewarding yourself can be a motivator for attaining future goals. Avoid self-denial.
We have all stumbled or felt we didn't do all that we could have at times. Know that you are human and allow yourself to make a renewed commitment to your goals frequently, not just on the first of the year.
Talk with Others
Social support is a crucial motivator in encouraging us to "press-on". A personal counselor or coach can be helpful in defining goals.
It usually takes a number of months for new habits to become a part of your usual routine. Don't allow self-doubt or external pressures to detract you from your goals.