Along with the effervescent chimes of Christmas jingles, the incessant background noise of New Year resolutions follows close to serve as a nagging reminder that this year’s list will once again be brought forward to the next. But that’s not unusual - we’re all guilty of over-promising and under-delivering. For the year 2020, how about revisiting our planning methods with these 7 steps to ensure that the resolutions are achievable.
1. Focus On One
As ambitious (and impatient) as one can be, we tend to set way more goals than we can achieve. This often leads to a countereffect of self-distraction and having a hard time to keep up with one task. Avoid this by picking one specific area in your life where you want to see a change (like health) and don’t plan resolutions that you know will fail. For example, if you have had a habit of drinking soda every morning, resolving it with immediate abstinence will only lead to bigger cravings. Break down the goal and make it simpler by switching to a low-sugar option before reducing the intake per week.
2. Planning Ahead
Take time to plan before the actual commencement date of your New Year resolutions to research and gather enough resources, and understand how it’ll fit your schedule. Can this new change be adopted within a few months, or does it require sustainability even after a few years? If it is to take up a specific activity like swimming, then do you have the correct equipment like goggles, swimming trunks, or even a membership to access the community pool? Get everything ready to avoid last-minute delays or unexpected changes.
3. Pick a Schedule
Work with your schedule and try to incorporate the change without needing to squeeze out extra time or disrupting your daily to-dos. New Year resolutions should not feel like a chore! Also, take your time to fix a date to kickstart on progressing towards your goal. Contrary to the popular understanding of New Year resolutions, you don’t have to start on the first of the year.
4. Plan Incentives
Incentives can help get even your toughest day going, but it is important to plan out suitable rewards that you can be motivated for without reversing your hard work. If you enjoy shopping and plan to lose a few pounds, then how about buying an outfit one size smaller than your usual fit? Remember, incentives that give a more visible, practical, and friendlier milestone approach to your end goal are the most encouraging.
5. Try, Try and Try
If you’re planning to incorporate a vegetarian meal for at least once a day, but have fallen back to a full-day meat fest, don’t worry! Falling back on your old habits are an inevitable part of making a new change to your lifestyle, and that does not equate to you failing. Take note of what made you cave and make it a point to avoid the same mistake. Then keep trying again. After all, perseverance is the key to success!
6. Make Progression Bars
Your end goal can be vague (like being healthy), but it is the smaller progressions that you should be focusing on. Being healthy, for one, can start with making sure you’re constantly hydrated. Focus on making hydration into a habit before moving on to something else like increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables. This way, you can take one step at a time to focus on a single task while tracking your progress bar towards your end goal.
7. Two is better than one
Having a partner-in-crime who is working towards the same goal can spark friendly competitiveness between the both of you. Similarly, he or she can act as a personal reminder to your New Year resolutions, someone to confide in (in terms of your progress, thoughts and feelings about the new changes), and a buddy system when trying something new like signing up for a Zumba class. #friendshipgoals