Going into the New Year, we often create expectations for ourselves. I'm sure you have generated some New Year's resolutions that you were initially excited to do, but never were able to follow through on.
For example, every New Year I tell myself that I'm going to try to cut out junk food from my diet. I happen to be quite the stress eater, as well as possess the largest sweet tooth in the state of California.
While I may keep this resolution in the beginning of the year, this only ever lasts for so long. As soon as the opportunity arises to eat junk food, I usually- *cough* -always... take it. Generally it's because my sugar craving mind alway comes up with the many absurd reasons and excuses to eat junk: eating a beautiful-looking cupcake because 'it's my friend's birthday party,' or eating a box of red vines along with a medium-sized bag of popcorn just because 'I'm at the movies.'
By the end of the year, when I'm beginning to think up the New Year's Resolution I want to make, I always find myself sticking to the same one that I was unable to complete the prior year.. What I realized from this unfortunate pattern is the following: 1. My resolutions are probably way too broad 2. I find too many excuses to pardon my resolution, like "oh I'll just try to be healthier next year." 3. I should be thanking the Gods that I have a somewhat fast metabolism.
However I know I'm probably not the only one in this boat.
And yes, while I may not be the best person to take advice from, after deep reflection (and sufficient Google research) I came up with 5 ways to be able to actually keep your New Year's resolution.
(I, as well, will be testing these this year…)
As previously mentioned, we don't have to wait until January 1st to better ourselves. But anyhow, happy New Year to you all, and good luck (and have fun) with keeping your resolutions!
1. Narrow down your resolutions
If your resolution is too broad, then you probably (but understandably) will give up on it. For example, a resolution like "to be happier" is way too broad to specifically go about. In this case, maybe try to think about one thing you could do or change in your life to make you happier, and focus on that aspect instead. If you pin down one specific goal, it'll be much easier to accomplish.
2. Plan ahead
In order to go through with your resolution, you should make a brief, but legitimate plan for how you'll approach it during the following year. For example, for my resolution, I could make a plan to limit the amount of junk I eat per day, to the point where by the end of the year, I'm barely eating any. But since we're all human and make mistakes, these guidelines are easier said than done. (Or maybe it's just me?) Anyhow, just by being aware of the amount of junk I eat, I'll end up eating a phenomenally smaller amount of it.
3. Write it down!
Write your resolution on a post-it note or on something that will stick (both literally and mentally...haha!), and put it somewhere you'll see it every day. (Perhaps on your bathroom mirror or your desk.) This way you simply won't forget about it!
4. Have fun with it!
Either treat yourself if you're staying on top of your resolution, or team up with a friend, and have him or her treat you! The latter option is a plus because you can both be accountable for each other's resolutions and progress, and could help make the experience more efficient and enjoyable. On top of that, you won't be the one paying for your reward. ;)
5. Start right now!
Don't. Give. Up. If you break your resolution, or simply just forget about it mid-year, it's never too late to pick it up again. All in all, the concept of a New Year's resolution is just a way for us to better ourselves in some way, shape, or form. It's never too late to fix a bad habit, pick up a new hobby, or just change some aspect of our lives. You also don't have to wait for the next January 1st to make a change-- the new year is just an excuse for trying something new. So heck- if you're reading this in the middle of the summer for whatever reason, start your next New Year's resolution early!
Good luck (and have fun) keeping your resolutions!