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Make Your Resolutions Stick

“A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.” ~Unknown

Resolution is not a common term you often hear this time of year. Many times, our New Year’s Resolutions are forgotten by February. But, perhaps now that we are almost half way through the year, it would be a good time to reexamine your New Year’s resolutions to see if they’ve stuck or if they’ve fallen by the wayside.

When you make a resolution, by definition you are resolving something, or coming to a firm determination. But, in terms of the New Year, these statements are often made ambiguously with a lack of true commitment.

In reality, most of these so-called resolutions really aren’t resolving anything. Instead, they make us feel guilty when we don’t measure up to our immeasurable expectations.

Take some time to examine the goals that you set for yourself at the beginning of the year. What measurable achievements have you made towards accomplishing your desires?

If you find that you haven’t made much progress, try using these tips to make your resolutions more measurable and achievable in the future.

Focus on What Can Be Gained Rather than What Can Be Lost

The most common resolutions are to lose weight, spend less, quit smoking, reduce stress, and consume fewer alcoholic drinks.

Notice a pattern here? All of these resolutions emphasize the negative. The focus is on what one must give up to improve his life.

Simply reframing your goal statements into affirmations can improve your psychological well-being and increase your chance of achieving your goals and creating positive change in your life.

For example, most of the aforementioned resolutions can be reframed into a statement like “I am going to have a healthier lifestyle this year”.

Create an Action Plan with Measurable Steps

Though positively oriented, the statement “I am going to have a healthier lifestyle this year” is still very vague. What does the statement mean to you?

Are you going to eat an additional serving of vegetables each day? Are you going to walk to work in the mornings? Are you going to take a multivitamin? What are you going to do to make this happen?

If you keep your goal statements vague, you will have a hard time measuring your success. It is very important to be specific. Determine exactly how you are going to improve your health this year, write down your intentions, and start taking action immediately.

Limit Your Focus to One Resolution

So often, people begin the New Year with a list of 10 resolutions. While it is admirable and ambitious to want to make so much positive change in one’s life, it can actually be limiting.

If we try to make too many changes at once, we may find ourselves feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. A true expert knows that if you really want to master something, you must give it your all.

It is okay if you have a list of ten resolutions, but focus on only one a time. Perhaps you can create a list in order of importance and make your way down the list, checking off each accomplishment as you go.

Remember, we’re only half way through the year. There is still plenty of time to work on you resolutions. So don’t beat yourself up for what you haven’t already done. Instead, focus on what you can do now. Re-evaluate those goal statements, limit your focus, and start taking action today!

How are your New Year’s resolutions coming along? Please comment below and share your story with us. 

Image by orangeacid.

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