When the party hats, empty champagne bottles and confetti lay on the floor on January 1st, the harsh winter sun flooding your living room will signal a literal and metaphorical renewal. It’s the beginning of the new year and it’s time for a change.
Making a New Year’s resolution is a universal tradition and it is also our tradition to not follow through with them. New Year’s Eve is a time of optimism and reflection, so don’t let the following day be the start of a year of disappointments and broken promises.
Here are some ways on how you can stick with your New Year’s resolutions.
- Daily Reminders
No matter our age, a lot of us are still childlike when it comes to procrastinating, especially regarding important plans. We must constantly be reminded to stick to a plan or goal. Oftentimes, we rely on self-discipline to get things done. Here’s a tip: use the calendar app on your smartphone to remind you what your resolutions are. Heck, you can even use a good old-fashioned wall calendar or stick post-it notes all over your house and office. When your resolution is in your face regularly, it’ll be hard to ignore them.
- Be Realistic
When coming up with New Year’s resolutions, people tend to go overboard in their imagination. They want to change the world. They want a new Ferrari. They want to start a multibillion-dollar corporation. They want to climb Mt. Everest. Be realistic. That means you should look at the different elements in your life: family situation; financial capabilities; health; etc. For instance, instead of that large company, start a small business. Instead of climbing Everest, go hiking in the Appalachian trail or nearby state park. Start off with the practical goals and then you can graduate on to bigger ambitions.
- Punishment and Reward System
We learn best through reward and punishment systems. That’s why we have stiff fines for speeding and bonuses at work for good performance. If you don’t follow through with your resolutions, you can create a punishment system. For example, if your resolution is to lose 20 lbs. within a few months, you can reward yourself by splurging on sweets if you reach your goal. This type of system will motivate you to try your best and scare you from being lazy.
- Give More Than Receive
If your make resolutions based on selfishness, it will be easier to break. This is because if your resolution is centered on you then you can always say, “Eh, I don’t need that new apartment after all. I can just wait next year.” However, when your resolution is regarding others—like, say, buying your mom a new car or giving to a charity—then you’ll start to feel guilty for letting people down. Also, it’s good to give more to others than always wanting to receive something.
- Get a Partner
Having someone remind you of your goals from time to time will keep you motivated and on track. Try sharing a resolution with a friend or family member, such as working out together or co-investing in a new business.
- Organize and Optimize
The year is long and will get more complicated as the months go by. In order to stay focused on your resolutions, try to organize your to-do lists and optimize your priorities. By methodically inching towards your goal, it’ll be easier for you to reach it in the long stretch.