Resolve to Stick With Resolutions

The holidays have passed and everyone has returned to school, work, and their old routines. For many, their new year’s resolutions have already fallen by the wayside and they are stuck in their old habits. If you already forgot yours or didn’t even make one, it’s not too late to jump back on the bandwagon.

Make a specific, realistic resolution. Think about what you want and make a detailed plan about how you want to achieve your goal. Just saying that you want to “be happier” or “drink more water” is too vague and will be easily forgotten. Instead say “I’m going to stop drinking soda during lunch and bring a water bottle instead,” that way your plan of action is the resolution itself and thus, is more likely to happen.

Don’t brag prematurely. It’s fun sharing resolutions and talking about plans to improve your life, but telling people about what you want to do can actually set you back.The praise and support you receive from other people is almost as rewarding as actually accomplishing the task, and will most likely decrease your motivation. Save the bragging for when you actually reach your goal, because at that point you will really have something to brag about.

Set a time frame. Anyone who has sought help in trying to keep good habits has probably heard the phrase “If you do something for 21 days, the habit will stick.” There’s little evidence that supports this theory, because every person and every goal is different, but using time as an ally is not a bad idea. Instead of making a year-long or life-long goal, try to follow your plan faithfully without exception for a shorter period of time. If it does not become an automatic habit, you will at least have found a way to fit it in your life and get to experience the results, which is one step closer than you were before.

Stay motivated. Often times it’s not the resolution that’s too challenging, it’s remembering and not making excuses that’s the problem. If you have trouble remembering something that you resolved to do every day, leave positive reminders around where you will see them. Leave a sticky note on your TV to remind yourself that you have a basketball game next weekend and practice is more important than SpongeBob reruns. Set an alarm on your phone as a reminder to stop texting and spend more time with the people around you. Whatever you do to remind yourself of important events, extend that to goals as well. Also remember to stay positive, because nothing will shoot down your resolutions faster than treating them like chores.

According to The Examiner, only 8 percent of people who make resolutions achieve their goals, but with the right mindset and motivation, that percentage will hopefully increase.