It's just a few more weeks until the dreaded January 1st, 2015. Now I call it dreaded because many of us are already trying to decide what our New Year's resolutions are going to be and along with that thinking comes the doubts; is this the year I'm going to stick with it and actually make it happen? With all the other stresses that we are dealing with, why do we choose to add a New Year's resolution on top of that? Well, it's because it's a new year and a new start! Why not return from some time away from the office with a fresh mindset and new goals we are wanting to tackle?
I, like many others, have goals that include becoming healthier, being more active and hoping to lose some weight. It's sometimes so tempting to use the break at the end of the year to splurge just one last time but I honestly feel like it hurts you rather than helps you to achieve your resolution. I think that taking some steps towards your goals during the time away from the office, no matter what your resolution, will help you be more likely to conquer them in the New Year. Here are my five tips to help you conquer your resolutions in 2015.
Many researchers have reported that you can form a habit in 3-4 weeks; 21 days is the magic number you normally hear. If you start working on your habit today, you'll have that time frame to really develop the habit before the start of the year. If you develop the habit before 2015 even starts, you are already well on your way to achieving your resolution for next year.
Start Small but Stay Consistent
If your New Year's resolution is to exercise more, then start out with something light. Go for a 10 to 15 minute walk every day or pick up a set of dumbbells and do one or two sets. Continue doing this every day and then work up from there. If you decide you want to exercise more and you jump straight to P90X or Insanity, you are setting yourself up for failure. This goes for any resolution; start with small goals every day and work up from there.
Create a Path of Least Resistance
If your New Year's resolution is to read more and watch less TV, then figure out how to make reading easier than watching TV. On your way out of the house, place your TV remote on the top of your fridge, or in a drawer, and put your book on your favorite relaxing spot. This way you will come home, plop down on your seat and then realize the TV remote is on top of the fridge. Well, your book is right there and you will be more likely to pick that up and start enjoying it than making yourself walk to where the remote is newly located.
Strength in Numbers
You constantly hear people talk about having a buddy system; well, that's because it works! If your New Year's resolution is to volunteer more around your community, find a friend, acquaintance, or coworker who is already volunteering and start joining them in their efforts. They already have the habit of volunteering and they will be very encouraging and keep you updated on opportunities throughout the year. Sometimes it's good to find a buddy who has the same resolution as you but take care that your friendship does not reduce the accountability between the two of you.
Forgive Yourself and Move On
We all have days that we will fall off the wagon but as the saying goes, "get back on!" When creating new habits it is inevitable that we are going to slide and miss a day or two. The biggest key here is to forgive yourself for your missed step and continue working on your resolution the next day. If we don't forgive ourselves, we will easily fall back into our old habits because they are "easier" and by this time next year we'll be kicking ourselves for not staying committed to something we challenged ourselves to do.
I hope that these tips help to give you a jump start on your 2015 New Year's resolutions and that 2015 is one of your most successful years yet!