It’s that time of year again. That time where we decide what changes we are going to make in our lives to better ourselves, whether it is dieting, getting out of debt, meeting new people, starting a fitness routine, or anything else that will make 2018 a year of personal growth and improvement. However, bad habits take time to break, and good habits take time to become routine. Here are some tips to help you stick to your New Year’s resolution (Carter, 2017):
- Start small by doing one thing at a time. Trying to make too many changes at once can be overwhelming, which will make things that much more challenging.
- Have a network of support. Just by letting your supportive family and friends know what you are trying to accomplish, you increase your chances of successfully reaching your goal. Have them hold you accountable.
- Accept that bad days are all part of the changing process. It’s okay if you skip the gym or eat fast food. Our days don’t always go as scheduled, and there will be slipups. Don’t dwell on the negatives and just remember that tomorrow will be a better day.
- Make time. Many of us have said how we “just don’t have enough hours in a day” when trying to get things done, but don’t use this as an excuse. You have to make (or find) the time to fit your goals into your busy schedule, whether it’s going to the gym before work, taking time to meal prep during a TV show, or updating your household budget during your lunch break. Make the 24 hours count!
- Baby Steps. No one changes in just one day when trying to build a new habit. Any progress is better than none. Even a small success is something to be proud of. Stay focused and be patient.
In a year from now, you’ll want to reflect back on what you did in 2018 and feel satisfied and accomplished. Think in small and realistic terms, know that “off” days will happen, find the time, let your trusted friends and loved ones know what you are setting out to do, and remember that things take time. Just as it took time to form your current habits, it will take time to form your new ones. It will get easier the more times you do it.
Carter, E (2017). Making New Year Resolutions a Success. Retrieved from http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/making_new_year_resolutions_a_success