The New Year is a great time to make resolutions, both in your personal and your professional life. And sure, most of us make them—but how many of us actually keep them for more than a few weeks or months? Luckily for us all, there a few surefire tricks that can help ensure that you’re still going strong when the warm months start to roll around.
#1: Prioritize Your Goals
When you try to accomplish too much, you can end up accomplishing nothing at all. At the end of the day, having too many goals can not only dilute your efforts, but can discourage you as a result of seeing lesser progress over time. Instead, it’s best to come up with a single, key goal to focus on, potentially with a few associated resolutions that you keep in mind. For example, if your primary resolution is to provide better service as a caregiver, brainstorm subsequent goals that can help you work toward this, such as being more present during your work hours and keeping a calm temper.
#2: Tell Friends and Colleagues
Don’t try to accomplish something big on your own! By telling others, you help to keep yourself accountable. You may also find that there are others in your life that are looking to accomplish the same goal or lifestyle change as yourself—and, as they say, there is strength in numbers. If you are looking to get more fit in the new year, try going to the gym or taking an exercise class with a buddy, or call one another out when you see someone slipping on their diet.
#3: Keep a Journal
Just like telling your friends and colleagues about your resolutions helps keep you accountable to others, keeping a journal helps keep you accountable to yourself. Jotting down a few notes every day can also act as a working log that can help you keep track of your progress. It won’t feel good to admit on paper that you’ve lapsed on your resolutions, which means that you’ll be more likely the next day to stay in line. Just be sure to provide a quick update each day—it helps to have a consistent time to make your entry, for example, when you first wake up in the morning or right before you go to sleep.
#4: Be Realistic
Sure, all of us want to get into incredible shape, become employee of the month, and make real meaningful steps in our relationships—just remember that change takes time. If you expect to go from zero to sixty in the snap of a finger, chances are that you’ll find yourself disappointed and demotivated, which can quickly mean abandoning your resolutions altogether. When considering your goals for the year, make sure that you are being realistic given your time, abilities, and circumstances.
#5: Be Gentle with Yourself
If you slip up on your diet over a weekend with friends or lose your temper at work during a moment of weakness, don’t be too hard on yourself. These things happen, and the best thing you can do is keep trying—after all, you’re only human!
Many people see the new year as a clean slate; a time to evaluate and consider ways to improve upon yourself. After you come up with clear and well-defined goals, make sure that you set yourself up for success along the way. By keeping in mind the tips and tricks above, you’ll be well on your way to a better version of yourself.