Don't worry, you aren't alone if you've ever set an unrealistic goal for yourself. We all do it. But if you want to achieve your resolutions this year, make sure you make them doable. Don't plan on losing 30 pounds in a month, because it won't happen (not healthily, anyway), and then you'll feel disappointed and might give up altogether. Instead, set small goals, such as including an extra workout a week into your routine or starting each day with a healthy breakfast. Pick small, achievable resolutions, and you'll have more success and feel better about what you're achieving.
The challenge with New Year's resolutions is that although the motivation may be very high on Jan. 1, it quickly starts to wane from there. So if you make your resolution something that can't be achieved until the summer, you may forget all about it. That's why it's important to find small ways to ensure you're on track to achieving that resolution when the opportunity arises. If, for instance, you want to travel south to try surfing in the summer, plan on going for a swim once a week and doing balancing exercises regularly until the time arrives. It's not that you can't pick resolutions that can only be reached far in the future; just make sure to remind yourself of that goal every week so you can ensure you make it happen.
Let's say your New Year's resolution is to live in a more environmentally friendly way. That's great, but such a broad goal makes it hard to know how you're doing. You might be recycling but not turning the lights off as much as you could. Or you might start taking public transit but neglect to decrease your water use. There's so much to keep track of that, rather than being able to celebrate your successes, you might get caught up in what you aren't doing. So write out a concrete plan you can keep an eye on throughout the year. For instance, in the first month, focus on recycling properly; then in the second month, start reducing your shower length by a couple of minutes; and so on. By having a concrete plan, you can make sure you work toward your resolutions and know just how well you're doing.
Of course there's a lot you want to achieve with each new year. And although it's great to keep everything you intend to do in mind, making too many resolutions can leave you overwhelmed. Planning to get a promotion, travel more, get in shape, volunteer and take up a new hobby is a lot for one person to keep track of. Instead, pick one or two things to make your priorities. Then, if and when you accomplish them, move down the list to other goals that are important to you. Give yourself time to get there.
New Year's resolutions are challenging because you want so badly for everything to happen right away. But that isn't what resolutions are about. Resolutions are processes, and they take time. With each day, you work at bettering yourself and improving your life, with a certain goal in mind. So rather than aiming to lose weight right away or to move up the ladder at work in the first month back, be OK with the fact that it will take a little time for your desire to become reality. Set small goals you can pursue bit by bit, and accept that so long as you continue to work toward your resolution, you're doing great!
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