Today is the last day of 2012! Where did the time go?!?! As some of us reflect on all we did or didn’t do in 2012, thoughts of what we resolve to do in 2013 come about. Here are some tips that will hopefully help you make the right kind of resolutions for 2013 and actually keep them past January 2nd!
1) Set Realistic Goals
“Lose 200 pounds” and “save $20,000” are attainable resolutions, but not very practical ones. Scale it back to something you think you can really do with a moderate amount of effort. Resolutions like “Lose at least 5 pounds per month,” and “put 5% of each paycheck in a savings account” are small enough that you will actually be able to see the work you’re putting in, but large enough to make a considerable difference in your life.
2) Remind Yourself
How can you keep your resolutions if you forget about them? With all of today’s technology, we’ve got a million and one ways to set reminders for ourselves. Use your tablet, smart phone, email, etc. to set alarms, alerts, and reminders of things you need to take care of concerning your resolutions. Write it on your calendar or in your planner. Tape a list to your fridge, bathroom mirror or computer screen.
3) Set Small Deadlines
If you resolve to reorganize your garage, write an ebook, and potty train your toddler all in 2013, you may find yourself overwhelmed at the end of the year by trying to cram it all in. Give yourself reasonable deadlines throughout the year to accomplish each task. For example: 1) Spend a few hours a weekend during the spring to organize the garage before summer; 2) Finish my ebook by August 15th; 3) Have Jr out of diapers by spring.
4) Make Them Fun
Instead of just crossing out words on a page every time you reach a goal, do something to add a little color and spice. Turn goal-reaching into a friendly competition with buddies, siblings, or your spouse. See who can be the first to reach their goal weight, kick their bad habits, or learn a new skill.
5) Share Your Progress
When people know what you’re trying to do, it’s easier to hold yourself accountable. Share your goals and milestones with family and friends. They can help keep you on track and offer support along the way. Start a blog chronicling your journey or give Facebook updates on your progress.
6) Plan In Advance
You can’t just dive into a triple digit weight loss plan or massive renovations on your house. If what you resolve to do in the new year is a major deal that will take a lot of hard work and dedication, start planning early for it. If you hadn’t thought of it until December 31st, that’s OK. Still make a plan to implement it within the 1st quarter or the first half of the New year, for example.
7) Reward Yourself
As you reach the small goals you’ve made throughout the year, reward yourself for a job well done. Rewards give you something to look forward to, help keep you motivated, and give you a sense of accomplishment. One you hit that first “lose 5 pounds per month” goal, treat yourself to a new dress. Once you meet the halfway mark to that lump sum of cash you’re saving, splurge a little on a bottle of your favorite wine. Staying motivated isn’t as hard when you have a little positive reinforcement.