The start of the New Year is always a time to take a step back and examine our lives to decide what we need to improve on. Every New Year millions of new resolutions are set and days later, millions are broken.
Every January the same New Year’s resolutions are used over and over again. I asked my family and friends what they typically set as their New Year goals and here are the five most popular answers they gave:
1) Lose weight/Get in shape
2) Spend more time with family
3) Better financial situation (new job, get out of debt, etc.)
4) Quit a bad habit (Smoking, drinking, drugs, etc.)
5) Provide more service/Help others
According to About.com, the top 10 list of New Year’s resolutions is pretty similar:
1) Spend More Time with Family and Friends
2) Fit in Fitness
3) Tame the Bulge
4) Quit Smoking
5) Enjoy Life More
6) Quit Drinking
7) Get out of debt
8) Learn Something New
9) Help Others
10) Get Organized
New Year’s resolutions provide a great way to refocus our priorities and help us remember what is really important in our lives. However, the real question is how do we actually follow through with our resolutions? Anyone can set a New Year’s Resolution, but not many of us have figured out how to keep our resolutions. Here are three ideas to help you keep your 2013 New Year’s Resolutions:
1) Make a specific daily plan about how you are going to reach your resolution
Most Resolutions fall by the wayside because they are not specific enough. For example, if you set a goal to “get in shape” you need to specify a plan of how to do that and determine a measurable goal. Here is what a plan could look like:
Goal: Get in shape (Lose 20 lbs.)
- Exercise for at least 45 minutes 6 times a week.
- Monday: Run on the treadmill, Tuesday: Lift weights, Wednesday: Play Tennis, Thursday: Ride my bike, Friday: Day off, Saturday: Sit-ups and Pushups, Sunday: Swim
A daily plan can go a long way to helping you actually reach your goals. Daily and frequent reminders of the ultimate goal give individuals a much better chance of actually achieving the goal.
2) Write down the goal and keep it somewhere it will be seen often
Human beings are constantly bombarded with things to distract us from our main goals. Write down your goal (and plan) and keep it someplace that you will always see it. Here are some suggestions of the places to keep the goal to ensure we remember it:
- Cell phone background
- Desktop/Tablet background
- Dashboard in your car
- Bathroom mirror
Find a place that works for you and it will be a constant reminder of your New Year’s resolution.
3) Share the same goal with someone close to you
I’m not talking about just telling a friend or family member about your goal, but actually sharing the same goal. There is strength in numbers. Sharing a common goal with someone close to you can provide a nice support. If the goal is to quit smoking, find a friend or family member that wants the same thing and conquer it together. On days when the goal seems too hard to conquer, your goal partner can lift you up and help you through it.
Good luck with the New Year’s Resolutions and hopefully you can have a wonderful 2013!