By Karla Arroyo
You know how it goes, it’s New Years Eve and you’re getting ready for a night out with your girls. As you put on your heels, you randomly begin to reflect on the past year - what worked, what didn’t. You start to wish you did things differently, but it feels like it’s too late. Luckily, a new start awaits you just a few hours away.
- Real Change Comes From Within, Not From The Pressure Of Others
No matter how many times you ask people for advice, you will always choose what you want to do in the end. The same goes for resolutions- just because you share your resolutions with others doesn’t mean they’re going to happen without your commitment. You have to truly feel within yourself that you are going to go through with your goals. Unfortunately, this can take time as sometimes life puts you through challenges before you can get the motivation to achieve your goals. What matters most is how you bounce back, not how you fall back.
- Set Incentives and Consequences For When You Do or Don’t Stick With Your Plan
Sometimes the best way to keep yourself on track is to gift and punish yourself accordingly. When you make a commitment knowing that you can’t mess up or slack off, it will make you think twice before you make that mistake. Once again, this comes from your inner strength to keep striving to achieve those resolutions. Let’s say you plan to read four books in one month and you find yourself only reading 10 pages per day, you would punish yourself by not going out that weekend and staying in to read more. On the other hand, if you’re reading 100 pages a day and finish the books before the month is up, treat yourself to a spa day- you deserve it! The rewards that come with sticking to your plans give you a feeling of positive reinforcement. Trust and believe that this will help you stay on track.
- Set Reminders on Your Phone and Calendars
Phone and calendar reminders are great ways to keep us on track with our goals for the new year. Although some of us have better memory than others, there’s a possibility you might still forget to pay your credit card on time this month. Google Calendar is an effective option as it synchronizes to your phone and other devices. It’s also visually coherent so you can see the month overall. Planners are also a good alternative for those who aren’t as tech-savvy or simply like to write things down physically. Amazon has a great deal of planners, starting around eight dollars. Find one that best suits your size and taste, and we promise you that the feeling of checking things off will be so rewarding.
- Use Your Support Systems and Ask Them to Keep You On Track
No matter how independent we can be, nothing compares to having a solid support system. Even the strongest of us crack and we need those around us to help us get back on our feet. These people might be the ones to help you make your resolutions more specific and help you get a jump start. For instance, if you had a friend who just completed their first year of being vegan and this is something you’re interested in, ask that friend for guidance. After all, something like that isn’t an easy task, so the pros and cons should be weighed beforehand. Once the new year sets in and you’ve started working on your resolutions, ask your friends to weigh in with you every week or month just to ensure you’re sticking to your goals. Continue to share your resolutions with those whom you trust and have your best interest at heart; be weary of the haters!
- Keep Your Eye On The Prize!
Don’t forget the reason why you set New Year resolutions in the first place. We should be constantly aiming to better ourselves, even if that means we have to make major adjustments, or leave some people behind. Although January 1st is just another day, using it as a start helps organize your goals since you’re starting from the first month and day of the year. Always remember to assess yourself every month (or however you’d like to measure it) to ensure you’re keeping up with your resolutions. The closer you get to the end of the year, the more you have to look back to. It’s all a cycle- once you approach December 31st again, you do your final reflecting and your initial preparing for the new year.