“It’s just another day till you decide to make it a new day. So, why wait for a new day for a new you?”
It’s the New Year! People usually treat the new year like a New Beginning (not really, but it can be) and a time to undo all the wrongs of the past and focus on the rights for the future. In January, people are full of life and often make resolutions to better themselves, professionally or personally. But usually by 15th January, all new year resolutions have been shamefully or defiantly forgotten and swept aside- not necessarily for the lack of trying but because Resolutions are harder than they seem.
But this year, I figured I’ll tell you how I’ve managed to successfully maintain my resolutions for the past 4 years. At first, I didn’t know how I did it, but then as the years went by, I fell into a pattern, or, habit. And this year will be my 5th year with yet another resolution. So, how do I maintain my New Year Resolution? Ready?
Life is a process and so is change. We recently talked about What Change Really Looks Like and from that you’ll see that every resolution is basically a form of a change and that every change no matter whether it’s personal or professional will take time. So, whatever your resolution start small. If it’s a major lifestyle change, then break it up into smaller bits. It’s not about taking the easy way out, it’s about doing it the right way – a manageable way and in a way that fits in your lifestyle.
Keep A Checklist
Whatever your resolution(s) keep a checklist. How? When? When? For how Long? Make a checklist, trim it down and then look at it and stick to it every day. And check items off that list every day.
Every good deed deserves a reward. The reward need not be materialistic but there should be a reward- so that the long-term goal doesn’t get lost in a short-term menace. Basically, every time you follow a resolution, you don’t need to gift yourself something, instead, do something that makes you happy and feel loved. A bubble bath, a long walk, a nice book or a crossword. Whatever it is, reward yourself.
Take Break Days
Now, the tricky part about a resolution is not breaking the resolution, it’s actually falling back into a previous habit and taking up that resolution again. In order to successfully make a change, you need to reconsider your perspective if you stop doing something you want to do. If, for some reason, you break a resolution, consider it a ‘break day’ or an ‘off day’. Don’t feel guilty, don’t think about it, just don’t do it, and then start over the next day- guilt free. Again. And keep going till your resolution becomes a habit.
Finally, tell nobody. People are a lot of pressure. You put yourself under a lot of pressure. So why combine both those pressures? Tell nobody and one day at a time, do what you have to. Once it’s a habit, then if you still want to tell someone, then do so! At least when it’s a habit, there’s no pressure of judgement or failure.
Resolutions are hard work. There’s no easy way around it. Weight loss, intellectual growth, personality change, these are all usual resolutions and often the hardest because you’re trying to form a new habit, one that challenges your current habits. So of course, it won’t be easy. But if it’s worth it, it wouldn’t be easy anyway.
So keep up your resolutions, keep trying and keep working on what makes you happy in the long run.