Top 10 Tips to Unbreakable Resolutions: SparkPeople SlideShow
Top 10 Tips to Unbreakable Resolutions
Written by Melinda Hershey, Health Educator
Like many people, you might be thinking of broad, life-changing goals to work toward in the new year. But it's important to clarify those goals so you know exactly what you're trying to achieve. For example, look at the difference between these two statements:
Track Your Goals
One of the best ways to stick with a New Year's resolution (or any other goal) is to consistently monitor your progress. It can be easy to let your good intentions fall by the wayside when life gets busy--and before you know it, a few slip-ups can lead to you falling off the wagon for good.
Choose a Focus
You might be tempted to kick off January with a fresh list of resolutions for the year ahead. But if you load yourself down with a lot of new changes at once, you'll likely become overwhelmed and will be unlikely to stick with them.
While choosing your goal of focus, be honest with yourself about whether it will be attainable for you. It's good to dream big, but if your goal is too big, you run the risk of throwing in the towel when you don't live up to your own expectations.
Prioritize and Plan
In order to reach big milestones, you will have to shuffle around your life a little (or a lot!) to accommodate for new changes. This might mean making some tough decisions, like forgoing your favorite TV show to go for a run, or cooking a healthy meal instead of swinging by the drive-through. When setting your new goal, make sure that you are 100% willing to make it a priority in your busy life.
Do your goals include the words STOP, QUIT, NO, or NEVER? If so, you may be setting yourself up for failure. After all, if you tell yourself that you can't have something, you will only tend to want it more, which could eventually lead you to fall off the wagon.
Visualize Your Goals
Setting and reaching big resolutions is largely mental. A simple, yet powerful tool to prepare your mind to reach your goals is through visualization. Studies have shown that when we imagine ourselves reaching a goal, it increases the odds that it will actually happen.
Find a Support System
Having people to support you makes a world of difference when you're working to reach an important goal in your life. Don't be shy about sharing your goals with your friends and loved ones--they are there to help! Sometimes, even just a small word of encouragement from someone you care about can turn around a bad day. You can also find like-minded friends to support you with SparkPeople's ''Find a Buddy'' feature.
Are you someone who will scold yourself for eating one slice of pizza—and then eat the whole pie since you've already ''failed'' for the day? Nobody's perfect, so why hold yourself to unreachable standards? When you start working toward a new goal, you may have a tendency to think in terms of ''all or nothing.'' It's easy to deal in absolutes when we're trying to reach an important goal, but it doesn't have to be that way.
Revisit and Revise
A lot can change in a year—or even in a month! Sometimes, the goals you set for yourself become irrelevant to you and your changing needs. Every few weeks, check in to see how things are going with your goals. Are you happy with your progress? Do you need to change your approach? Give yourself permission to change your goals, if needed; don't feel chained to them if they're no longer serving a purpose for you.