Friday, February 7, 2014

Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolution

by C. Markus 
The year’s resolutions can be one the most gratifying and horrifying ordeals. On one hand you want to stick to your goals, and on the other, you are afraid it may be too difficult. Most people do not stick with their resolution; however, they may just be going about them in the wrong way.
According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 45% of people who make a resolution stick with it over 6 months. That is less than half! This year make a promise to yourself: keep to your goals! It may be easier than you think. Follow these simple tips, and you will be on your way in no time.
  1. Be specific – When setting your goal make it specific. Try not to say “I want to exercise”; be more targeted, for example, say “I want to exercise 20 minutes a day”.
  2. Write your goals down – If you look at your goal every day you will be more likely to accomplish it.  Try using sticky notes, one on your coffee maker, one in the car, another at work etc… this will reinforce you to keep with your resolution.
  3. Be realistic – Many people fall into the trap of setting goals that are too difficult. If you are trying to lose weight, don’t say “I want to lose 100lbs in 3 months”. Start small and say to yourself “I want to lose at least 5lbs every month”. Also, limit the number of resolutions you plan on making; it is best not to overwhelm yourself.
  4. Tell everyone about your goals – By letting your friends, family, and co-workers know your goals, you are reinforcing them. So, when you skip a day at the gym or smoke that cigarette, they will be sure to call you out. Who knows, you may have some of the same resolutions – in which case you can work on them together.
  5. Set a time frame – Set a time frame to accomplish your goals, as this will give you something to strive for. Saying to yourself “I must accomplish my goal by this date” will only make you work harder to achieve it.
  6. Reward yourself – for every incremental step you reach, reward yourself. If you’re trying to quit smoking and go a few weeks without smoking, reward yourself. Don’t reward yourself with a cigarette, but instead buy something you have wanted like new clothes. This will only positively reinforce your goals.
  7. Use positive mental attitude- This is the last tip and one of the most important. Try thinking positively. If you’re going to the gym and think “I don’t want to go the gym, it’s so tiring” stop that thought immediately and think “I want to go the gym because it will make me feel better”. Accomplishing your new year’s resolution is 90% willpower; and little positive thought can take you a long way. 
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