John’s 8 tips are good and practical, and might help you make it until, say, the first of February, at least! Good luck. Here are the first four, and then you can go over to his site to read the rest.
It’s not always easy to keep New Year’s resolutions. Sometimes there just doesn’t seem to be enough time, energy or willpower to accomplish everything. Don’t despair! If you spend some time reevaluating the way you make resolutions, this year can be different. Here are some tips that will help you make resolutions that last.
1. Set realistic resolutions and expectations.
Choose one goal, then break it down into smaller, more manageable bits. For example, if you want to save $1,000, think about it in terms of saving $20 per paycheck. That makes your goal less intimidating. Every time you save some money, praise yourself. Rewarding yourself for every positive step will help you have the confidence you need to hang in there.
2. Think of resolutions as opportunities to try new things.
Resolutions are a time of the year not only to try and “fix” the problems in your life, but also to try out a new way of being, a new activity or hobby, or a new attitude. Resolutions should not seem like punishments; if you try to make them fun, you will be more likely to stick with them. If your goal is to be healthier, try going for a 10-minute walk before work and enjoying your neighborhood. Think of January first as a chance to adopt a healthier lifestyle, not as the start of a period of denial
3. Make a plan early on and stick to it.
Studies show that people who make impulsive resolutions are less likely to stick to them. Think about what is most important to you and create strategies to deal with the problems and setbacks that will come up as you move towards your goal. Tracking your progress will help as well; the more you monitor and praise yourself, the more likely you are to succeed.
4. Look at the bright side
Focusing on the positive side of things will give you more energy and enthusiasm to pursue your goals. People who believe that they can succeed are more likely to do so. For example, praise yourself for losing five pounds, but don’t punish yourself for gaining one back. You will reach your goal more easily if you accentuate the positive.