For most of my adult life, whenever someone asked me whether or not I make resolutions I'd say no. I'd say there's no point because I don't stick to them. Then, one year, I randomly decided to make resolutions. I posted them on this blog, but I refused to call them resolutions. I called them, "goals." And, surprisingly, I stuck to them. At the end of the year I has accomplished them. Then it happened again. Then it happened again. The solutions wasn't to call them goals instead of resolutions, but there were a few tricks that helped me complete my New Year's Resolutions. Want to successfully stick to your resolutions this year? Let me share a few tips with you...
1. Keep it simple. Be realistic, then really think about where you'd like to see yourself a year from now. I know we could write pages and pages of things that we'd like to do, but what are the most important? What are things that are actually achievable? Instead of "lose 40 lbs" a better goal might be to cook a new, healthy recipe each week.
2. Be concrete. The goals that I've failed to achieve are the ones that are too general. Instead of saying, "be a better wife" or "get in shape" a more concrete goal might be, "write a love note to my husband once a month" or "run a 5k."
Also, remember to make your goals for you only. Having a resolution to have a date night once a week will only work if your husband is on board, as will anything that involves work on someone else's part. Make your goals for only you and don't be disappointed if your husband (or anyone) does or doesn't do it, too. You're working on making you a better person and you only have the power and responsibility for yourself. Now, if your husband does want to work on the goal with you- great!
3. Share with others. I really feel like I have this blog to thank for the many goals that I've achieved over the years. Before posting my goals I'd just say them to myself and then forget about them a week later. Having accountability, even if no one is asking you about them, is powerful. If you don't blog consider sharing with someone - a spouse, friends or even posting on your facebook. (For me, just telling my husband isn't very effective. It's kind of like telling myself, I don't feel any real pressure with him and I can easily make up excuses.)
4. Continual reminders. Write down your goals and put them in a place that you'll see them often. In the midst of our busy lives it's so easy to completely forget about the things we're working towards.
5. Give yourself grace. You're not going to be perfect. You're going to mess up. You're going to forget or get to busy once in awhile. The purpose of a goal or a "New Year's Resolution" is to make slow, but steady progress, so that at the end of the year you can look back and see the leaps and bounds that you've come. Dramatic changes don't happen over night, but after hard work day after day after day. Setting goals and following through takes a lot of hard work. At the end of the year, when you see the change, all of your hard work will be worth it. So, if you fail one week, don't worry about it. Just start back where you left off. Don't give up!