Sunday, January 3, 2016

6 Ways To Stick To Your New Year's Resolutions

Ahh. January. It’s that time of year when you’ve probably made yet another list of New Year’s Resolutions, most of which you will abandon by February -- March, if you’re lucky. In fact, I would bet that your 2016 Resolutions are piggybacking off of your failed resolutions from last year.

If this sounds like you, don’t feel bad. You’re in good company. According to a study from The University of Scranton, a staggering 92% of people fail to follow through with their resolutions each year.

Other than the high failure rate,  I’ve always been a bit cynical when it comes to New Year's resolutions because they endorse the ridiculous idea that you have to wait until a certain date to change your life. You have the power to change your life any time you get ready. I feel like waiting for January 1 to roll around delays personal growth and increases your chance of losing momentum.

Still, the cultural tradition to align your new beginning with the start of the year has been ingrained in our heads since birth-- and despite my resistance, a habit I haven’t been able to kick. So, I’ve compiled a list of six things that we all can do to aid improve our resolution keeping habits.

1. Evaluate Who Your Are Now
You can’t expect to better yourself, without first knowing who you’re starting with. In order to you to do the former, you have to honestly assess your strengths and weaknesses so that you plan accordingly.

This is where honesty comes into play. You must get in tune with your core values and pinpoint exactly what areas of your life you need to work on. There are two main questions that you must you ask yourself: “How will this resolution contribute to my greater good” and “What behavior do I need to alter to stop hindering my progress? “

Once you answer those two questions truthfully, you’ll be able to set resolutions that will be conducive to your individual need for growth.
2. Don’t Try To Impress Others
I’ll admit it -- I have experienced what I call “Resolution Envy.” It’s what used to happen each December when I heard my peers talking about all of the goals they were going to achieve the following year. I still remember how I used to mold my resolutions to seem more interesting in conversations with others, because I felt my that real goals were boring. Needless to say, I always failed because the things I were resolving to do weren’t my passions. So, when I was alone and not in the company of others, I had no motivation to follow through.

It wasn’t until I stopped worrying about what others thought that I was able to set goals that aided my personal growth.
3. Keep Your Resolutions Realistic
You must be realistic in what you can do. If your goal is to get healthy, then you may think it’s a good idea to start with some crazy workout routine. The truth of the matter is that you can’t just dive into a rigorous workout regimen if haven’t worked out in years. You are setting yourself up for failure. If you don’t ease into strenuous activity, you run the risk of injuring yourself -- which will further delay your progress.

Instead, set a lot of small, attainable goals that when achieved in conjunction will help you achieve the bigger picture. For example: Instead of making a broad statement like “I want to get healthier,” strive to introduce more fruits and vegetables into your diet, cut out saturated fat, and exercise three days a week. After you settle into that routine, then commit to running a mile or week. As you get into better shape, gradually increase the intensity and length of your workouts.

The same goes for any resolution, not just weight loss.

4. Get Someone To Hold You Accountable
I learned ages ago that I need structure in order to thrive because I have a very laid back personality. So this year  friend and I are going to track our resolutions together. We have similar interests and are on the same academic track, so we’re going to help each other stay on course.

Having a friend around will make the hard stuff seem less like work. Not to mention, they will be there to celebrate your achievements and provide emotional support for bad days.

5. Keep Track Of Your Progress
As you progress, check off each milestone as a reminder of what you’ve achieved. There is no better feeling than knowing that you’re making progress towards your goals. Having a physical record to look back on will be a great reminder on days when you’re not feeling as positive.

6. Stick With It
You’re going to have days where you want to fling your fancy planner across the room and say “F” it. That’s to be expected. Letting go of bad habits isn’t easy, but as with virtually everything in life, you have be willing to put in the work. That doesn’t mean that you won’t have bad days. If you need to take a day off, collect your head, and re-evaluate your goals, then do so. Just make sure to get back into it ASAP.

What are some of  your New Year goals? Let us know in the comment section below! 

Kendi Banks is a freelance writer and Editorial Intern for I’mPerfect Magazine. She hopes to land a job with a national magazine post graduation. She’s obsessed with Pop Culture, Social Media and Fairy Tales.

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