Stay on Target With Your New Year's Resolutions

Do you need help sticking to your New Years Resolutions? Use these helpful tips and be well on your way to achieving your goals!

two people clinking their champagne flutes together



Jan 21, 2021

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Everyone tries to do better in the new year, and for most of us, that involves making some New Year’s resolutions. But sometimes things just don’t go according to plan. Follow this suggestions so you can stay on track and achieve your goals!

It’s easy to do, and we’re all guilty of it, but sometimes it’s hard to keep up with our New Year’s resolutions come February. We make these resolutions to become better people-- whether that means eating better, getting more exercise, becoming more organized, saving money, or meditating-- the goal is the same: to become better than we were last year. The best way to stay on target is to have a list of small goals that you can meet monthly. In this article we’re going to discuss:

  • Ways to reach your goal
  • Common reasons people lapse and how to stay on track
  • What to do when you take a step backwards

After following these suggestions, you’re sure to be on your way to reaching those goals!

Ways to reach your goal

So, you’ve made some New Year’s resolutions, and we have some ways to help you keep them!

1. Be Realistic

All too often we make grandiose plans to lose 25 pounds or to stop smoking cold turkey, but in reality this is setting yourself up for failure. Most people struggle with resolutions because they didn’t first think about what their long term goal is. If you want to stay on track, sit down and be honest. If you want to lose weight, start with a small goal, like 5 pounds, and go from there. If you want to start meditating more, start with a couple of minutes each day. The key here is be consistent.

Keep your resolutions realistic, when you’re honest it goes a long way

2. Plan

Everyone knows the best way to start anything new is to have a plan. When you lay out exactly what you want to achieve, you are in a much better place. Make a list of what you’d like to accomplish in the new year, well before December 31st. Having an outline of small steps you can take to stay on track is incredibly helpful. The important thing is that you go in knowing some days might be harder than others, so be prepared to fight those urges to quit.

You’re much more likely to stay on track when you have a good plan of attack

3. Talk about it

No one said you had to tackle your New Year’s resolutions alone! Make sure your friends and family know about your goals, and keep them posted about your success. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, or talk through some difficult times with them.They might have some good suggestions, or can at least help you get back into a more positive frame of mind. Remember, they want to see you succeed as well.

Another important thing to remember, however, is if you encounter any negative feedback or comments from family and friends as you try and reach your goals, try to limit your time with those people. Their negative attitude isn’t helping anyone, including you.

4. Track your progress

Nothing can be more empowering than seeing how far you’ve come. Start on day one and make a note in a journal, a calendar or on an app on your phone. The point here is that if you can make it this far, then you are quite capable of reaching your goal. This is an incredibly powerful way to keep your thinking positive. When you believe you can do it, you can. The power of positive thinking on keeping New Year’s resolutions often goes overlooked. You can exercise, but if you truly don’t think you’ll ever be able to lose the weight, then you’re doomed from the start. Change your perspective and stay on course.

The power of positive thinking can be the difference in achieving your goals, or falling short

5. Reward yourself

This can seem like a trivial thing when you’re trying to make big changes to your current lifestyle. But what if you rewarded yourself with something that wouldn’t throw you off track of your resolutions? If you want to quit smoking, then the less that you smoke and the more that you resist the urge to smoke, reward yourself by enjoying a nice lunch. If you’re staying on track with your plan to eat better, maybe treat yourself to something you like to do, like see a movie or visit a museum. When trying to lose weight, what better motivator is there to keep doing what you’re doing then treating yourself to some new fitness clothes, perhaps in a smaller size than before!

Rewarding yourself for staying on target goes hand in hand with resisting the urge to beat yourself up when you fail. Some people believe that failure is not an option, but this type of thinking is non-starter. Of course it’s ok if you slip a couple of times, the important thing is you don’t fall into the trap of negative thinking. This starts a downward spiral that can only end in losing.

Remember to treat yourself nicely, and reward yourself for staying on track. The power of positive thinking plays a big role in sticking to resolutions.

Common reasons people fail

1. Negative thinking

We’ve mentioned above the power of positive thinking, and how it can change your whole perspective. Negative thoughts can do the exact opposite. If you start to obsess over a little set-back or can’t understand why you’re not seeing the results you want, this can lead to some serious problems. You begin to see everything you’re doing as pointless, or worse, a failure. It’s a trap lots of people struggle with, and can be hard to avoid.

2. It doesn’t become a habit

We all know that practice makes perfect. So when you’re trying to stay on track with your New Year’s resolution, why treat it any differently? The problem is that people who want to lose weight or stop smoking tend to fail because they don’t make it a part of their lifestyle. Instead, they see what they’re trying to accomplish as a quick fix, when instead these good behaviors should be incorporated into their everyday lives going forward.

3. Instant gratification

This goes hand in hand with making your resolution a part of your lifestyle and not just a goal to reach as quickly as possible. Remember, it’s a marathon and not a sprint. There is no fad diet that will help you reach your weight loss goals in a couple of weeks. You’ll have to put in the time and energy and change your lifestyle if you’re serious about achieving your weight loss goals.

If you want to eat better, don’t deprive yourself of food, as this can only lead to failure. Instead, be in it for the long haul and make some serious changes to your meal plans. Resolutions are kept not because they work in a couple of months, they’re kept when you incorporate them year round.

Avoid failing this year, and say goodbye to negative thoughts.

What to do when you take a step backwards

So now we know why most people fail in their New Year’s resolutions, but what can we do to get back on track and reach our goals?

1. Laugh

Laughter is the best medicine, and it’s also the best way to return to a positive mindset. So, you messed up and didn’t work out for a couple of days. So what, it’s not the end of the world! Get back at it tomorrow. If you splurged and had one too many cookies when you’re trying to eat better, laugh it off, and try harder tomorrow. When we don’t take ourselves too seriously, it’s easier to recover from mistakes. It shows that we know we’re not perfect, but we’re going to keep trying anyway.

In addition to its effect on positive thinking, laughter also tells our brain to release serotonin and endorphins that definitely make a difference in how we feel. You can’t help but feel better after a good laugh, especially with friends.

2. Reach out to friends and family

Your support system is crucial if you’re serious about sticking with your New Year’s resolutions. Friends and family are right behind you and want to help in any way that they can. Whether that’s being a listener, a cheerleader or even just someone you can share a good laugh with. Reach out to the people closest to you when you think you’ve run into some trouble.

No one likes to go it alone, and when you’re trying to make some changes, it can be hard, especially if you don’t let your support system know. Open up to them and let them help you!

3. Be patient

Perhaps one of the hardest things for people to do is have patience. In our society we want things done yesterday. This is not the way to reach your New Year’s resolutions. This is why it is so important to set small goals, and have a plan. Slow and steady will win this race.

We all know keeping New Year’s resolutions is difficult, and as the months move on, can seem even harder. These tips will hopefully get you back on track and in the right mindset to achieve whatever your goals are. If your New Year’s goal involves buying a home in Ohio, be sure to check out HER, REALTORS® latest listings!

January 29, 2019
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