New Year’s resolution are often meant to create a positive change for the better. For example, one of the resolutions I made in the past was to quit smoking, another was to increase quiet time with no distraction like telephone or tv.
New Year’s resolutions are great tools to help take control and improve the quality of one's life and well-being. However sometimes we start very committed and motivated and after a few weeks, or months we lose commitment, excitement, and we might fall off track completely.
Here are some tips that helped me stay committed to my New Year’s resolutions:
Make it tangible, something that you can measure, something you can definitely confirm, yes I am doing it, no I stopped doing it, or maybe I am partially doing it. In order to make it tangible, I want to be very specific about what I am hoping to achieve. For example ‘I want to live a healthier life’ is a great resolution but very general. Instead narrow it down to what will make your lifestyle healthier? Would it be getting more exercise? Clean up the diet? Get more sleep? That would help focus on an element that will be more measurable. I would encourage you to peel one more layer of the onion in order to be even more specific. If I want to get more exercise, I would define the type of exercise, how many days a week I will dedicate to exercise, the duration of each workout. This year I want to improve the quality of my life and well-being by increasing flexibility, I’ve noticed my hips and hamstrings are not what they used to be, so I am committing to stretch more; three days a week I will dedicate 10 minutes to stretch with the Ladder Barre. That it is a very specific and tangible resolution.
Put it on your calendar. Dedicate in advance the specific days and the time you are carving to commit for your resolution. I choose Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays of the first ten minutes of my lunch break. I chose those days after looking into my existing schedule and determined I have ten minutes I could dedicate for stretching. I went ahead and set up a standing appointment on my calendar so I don’t accidentally schedule anything else at that time.
Program reminders and alerts to help you stay committed to the specific time and day you have set. This day and age we have endless possibilities for our fancy devices to beep, ring or vibrate with a notification. Set an alarm on your phone or a notification on your computer screen alerting you have made a commitment for this very particular time at this very particular day. One year my resolution was to go to bed earlier so I could get better sleep. I set an alarm on my phone that had it’s own unique ringtone. I named it ‘Its time to go to bed.'
Share your resolution with people you care about, and they care about you. This is one of my favorite ways for accountability, because chances are your people will bring it up and ask you about it. It will encourage you to stay committed and motivates you even more because now you wouldn’t want to disappoint them. I just shared with you that my resolution is to stretch on Tuesdays during the first ten minutes of my lunch break, on Tuesday evening when we have a casual conversation you might ask, ‘Hey, it’s Tuesday, did you stretch today?’ You could even ask your friends and family to check on your commitment periodically.
Invite someone to join you, it is another fabulous way for accountability. You can help each other stay committed to your resolution, and increase quality time spent with your friend. This could also be virtually, you could go for a morning walk with a friend from another state connecting over a phone call, or if you want to join me via Zoom we can stretch together. There is definitely room for creativity, and technology once again can play in our favor.
Set time to check in with yourself. Designate time to see if you are still as committed three weeks or three months later. It helps me to keep a journal. At the end of week one write your conclusion, 'I did great! I stretched three times a week!' It only takes a minute and it will help you stay motivated. It also helps to catch up in case your ‘slip’ off track before it’s too late.