About eight months ago you likely realized that the new year was upon us. Your thinking probably went something like this: this year will be the year that I lose the extra weight, quit smoking and make more time for my family.
Well, this year has been moving right along and we're at an ideal point in time to reflect on how those new year's resolutions are coming along. It's easy for those well-intentioned goals to slowly go astray, so before you grab another cigarette or stay late at work for yet another night, consider the following suggestions for sticking with those new year's resolutions all year long:
It's okay to reevaluate.
If you set a resolution at the new year that no longer applies or interests you, it's okay to reexamine your reasons for making it. If, for example, you decided to give up eating meat and become a vegetarian because you wanted to eat healthier, it's important to realize that you can still achieve your ultimate goal (consume a better selection of food) without feeling confined by the specific goal you set.
Take baby steps.
Massive goals can seem overwhelming, and rightly so. When you set the goal of losing 20 pounds of weight or getting rid of your credit card debt, it's difficult to figure out how to get from where you are now to where you want to be. If the goals you set in January seem to be too daunting, break them down into smaller goals that you can achieve on a weekly or monthly basis. Perhaps this week you'll kick the habit of drinking a can of soda in the afternoon or put $200 toward one of your credit card bills by the end of the month.
Picture the future.
You made your resolutions for a good reason. Instead of getting down on yourself for not following through thus far-or if the end just seems too daunting or difficult to reach-remind yourself why you wanted to achieve those particular goals. Picture yourself finishing the marathon you'd like to run. Think about how good you'll feel when you can clock out at five and spend the rest of the day hanging out with your family. If you can remember why you set your goals, you just might be compelled to complete them.
Enlist the help of a buddy.
If you find that you aren't getting to the gym as often as you anticipated or you haven't written anything for the book you want to write in the last month or so, find a friend who can help hold you accountable to your resolutions. She doesn't necessarily need to hold your hand through the entire process of achieving your goals, but if you have to check in on a weekly basis to let her know what you've done, you may be more inclined to complete them. It's one thing to disappoint yourself, but most people find it much more difficult to let others down.
Don't think of it as giving up.
Some goals aren't worth keeping. Jobs are lost, babies are born, lives change. If you made a new year's resolution that honestly makes no sense to pursue at this point in time, it's okay to give it up. You shouldn't toss something that you want to achieve by the wayside (especially if that is even a fraction of a chance that you can follow through with your goal), but if what made sense six months ago is no longer relevant, it's okay to let it go. Just don't think of it as giving up on your goals. You're simply reprioritizing.