It's about time to get your resolutions in order — if only so you can have a quick answer to the only question you'll be asked after New Year's Eve. Once you've identified your big goal this year, make it last with these tips to keep you positive and on track.
Start right now this minute — Whatever your resolution is, there's no sense in binging on your bad habit prior to beginning your "good" behavior. It'll just give you farther to go. You are at your most motivated when deciding to take on your resolution so ride that wave and get going immediately.
Set specific goals — Instead of "lose weight" which has no accountability attached, try "lose 20 lbs." If your resolution seems overwhelming, set smaller, manageable goals to build on throughout the year, like "lose 2 lbs a month."
Think about HOW you'll accomplish those goals — You need a step-by-step plan, addressing all parts of your resolution. If you want to lose 20 lbs, take a look at your diet plan and figure out an exercise routine. Figure out exactly what you will do when so when it comes time to put your plan into action, it's a no-brainer.
Write down your plan — You've gone over every detail and you know your plan by heart. Even so, write it down. The act of writing will help it sink in that much more and having a copy to refresh your memory during trying times will come in handy.
Make yourself accountable — Now it's time to share your plan. You can tell everyone or tell just one understanding person, but getting support — a sympathetic ear, an encouraging voice, a sensible opinion — is an essential part of accomplishing your goal.
Reward yourself when you reach a goal — After your initial rush of motivation fades around February, you're gonna need something to keep you going. A periodic reward may be just the thing to keep you honest, all year long.
Make it complicated — Don't make things harder on yourself than they need to be. Choose a simple, powerful resolution so you can really focus in and get it done.
Beat yourself up if you get off track — You will eventually make a mistake but the real test of your character is how you respond. Do you let one little slip up drag you down for the count? Rebound the very next day and pick up where you left off with no guilt.
Let others' failures lead YOU to slide — When other people get off track, they might try to mitigate their disappointment by tempting you to give up, too. Don't fall for it! Even though they look like they're having fun, indulging in all the things they'd resolved to give up, they're secretly jealous of your resolve.
Ignore small accomplishments — It may be hard to get excited about finishing a tiny sliver of your goal when you have the bulk of it looming ahead, but you must remember that this is a year-long process so giving yourself a pat on the back when it's due will keep you positive and motivated.