January is the perfect time for reflecting on your previous year and deciding what changes you’d like to make for the coming one. For decades, people have been setting New Year’s resolutions. Although sometimes they may be dropped, these goals can help us find new things we love, meet new people, and live healthier lives. To help you achieve your resolutions, we’ve put together some tips for setting and keeping New Year’s resolutions.
Set Specific Goals
Most often, resolutions are dropped because they are too generic. When you sit down to make your resolutions, try being as specific as possible. Instead of just saying that you want to lose weight, set a healthy goal weight or amount to lose. If you choose to exercise more, decide ahead on how many days a week you’d like to do so. Having specific goals make them easier to track and achieve. The SMART goal setting method is excellent to use when you are planning out your goals for the year.
Focus on One Thing at a Time
Setting too many resolutions at once can be overwhelming and lead to resolutions failing. Although it’s never a bad thing to want to better yourself, it’s important to understand that behaviors take time to develop. Pick one resolution at a time to focus on. This will help make the behavior changing easier as you’ll only need to focus on one at a time, instead of changing every part of your routine.
Take Small Steps
No one is expected to pick up and complete their resolutions quickly. If you want to run a marathon, you can sign-up for one whenever, but it won’t be easy without preparing. Starting small can make your big dreams easier to achieve. Using the marathon example, it would be easier to start by going on a few shorter runs a couple of times a week than the full marathon on day 1 of your resolution. New habits are hard to get into and can be even more challenging when it changes your regular routine. Breaking your resolution down and taking smaller steps can help you keep and achieve them.
One of the best ways to help you stay motivated and keep your resolutions is to include the people around you. Telling your close friends and family can help build a good support system for you. They may even have similar goals as you. If that’s the case, including another person can help keep you and the other person accountable for achieving those goals.
Support can also come from outside of your immediate family or friends. In the digital age, there are all kinds of options for meeting people with similar interests as you. You can join a group on Facebook or find classes and programs at your local Y. Whether you want to live a healthier life or try something new, being surrounded by a supportive group of people can make it easier and more fun.
Keep at It
It can be hard to start something new or make changes to your routine. This difficulty often leads people to drop their resolutions. When challenges come up that defer your goal, it’s important to not view these moments as failures. Instead, think of them as opportunities to learn and grow. Achieving your goal isn’t going to be one straight path, and there will be roadblocks, but they can be overcome so you can keep working towards your desired results.
At The Y, we want to help you keep and achieve your resolutions. We offer a variety of classes and programs for people of all ages. Whether you want to learn to swim, exercise more, or meet new people, The Y provides a place for you. After finding the right program for you and your goals, let us help you achieve them!