NYR Making It Stick

Every year right before January 1st we take a look at our lives and find things we either want to start or things we want to stop. Here are some helpful tips to make your New Year’s Resolution stick. 

It takes 2 seconds to think of what you want to do, 21 days to form a habit, and a lifetime to stop regretting your failure as you gear up to start your New Year’s Resolution this year. Like a soldier on the front lines of the battlefield, this is war. 

First you have to decide what it is you want to do for your New Year’s Resolution. Do you want to stop smoking? Do you want to lose some extra weight for swimsuit season this summer? Maybe you are an impulse buyer and your financial decisions are causing havoc in your family. No matter what your circumstances are, two things are universal. It won’t be easy, and it won’t be fun.  

Next step is to put yourself in situations that will help you succeed, not fail. If you are trying to stop drinking then being at a bar 3 nights a week is probably the last place you want to be. If you are trying to learn how to cook then ordering a pizza is the last thing you want to do even if you are exhausted from working a double. 

Next. Don’t let those cheat days cause you to fail. Remember when you cheat, you’re only cheating yourself. Yes smoking two cigarettes a day instead of eight may be a vast improvement but it still hinders the ultimate goal of smoking zero cigarettes. Do you want to cheat and feel good temporarily but as soon as it’s over you will feel defeated and ruin your drive and focus to keep pushing. 

Next step is to have a realistic perspective on your situation. Remember if it wasn’t hard you wouldn’t be reading this right now because you would have already succeeded in your goal no matter what it is. If your goal is to lose 30 pounds don’t expect to lose it by the end of the day. When you go to the gym realize that it’s the small steps that will help you make the weight you want. If you leave the gym after the first week expecting supernatural results than you have the wrong perspective and are inviting failure to dwell within you. Don’t forget this will be hard.

Next step is to create a long term goal with short term victory points. As a kid i wanted to join karate. Never did i want to settle for anything less than a black belt, i mean what would be the point if i didn’t have the ultimate goal of dominating my way through the ranks and eventually holding up that black belt and tying it around my waist. Oh what a great feeling that would be! However i never took into consideration that it would take years to achieve my goal. When i went to sit in on a lesson the other people made it seem so easy. i figured i would have it within a few months max. I ended up quitting after a few short months when i lost sight of my long term goal because i never set up any short term goals for my overall outcome. I wanted so bad to be a black belt in karate, but i wasn’t willing to be a white belt, a yellow belt, or even a brown belt. For me it was instant success or bust, and I had to learn a tough lesson that just wanting something so badly will not entitle you to have it. 

Next step is to make sure you rebound when you relapse. Are you going to be perfect 100% of the time? No that unrealistic. You may quit karate for a little while, you may have that cigarette when your boss tells you the company is having cut backs and you may lose your job, you may stop at McDonalds and get 3 Big Macs after that spinach salad you ordered wasn’t quite edible. This isn’t a time to give in and give up. It’s a time to grow stronger. In those times it’s easy to get caught up in our failure, especially if it’s a major setback. You have to adopt the mindset that slipping up is not giving up, take those moments and do better the next time. Remember the fight isn’t over until you say it is. 

Final tip is to be happy. This is hard, no doubt but your greatest weapon is your positive mental attitude. Your New Year’s Resolution is going to make you who you want to be, It’s going to put you where you want to be, and it’s going to fill that missing piece inside of you. Stay positive because no matter how hard it is a good attitude will make it a little easier. 

Hopefully these tips help you. Don’t forget you made these Resolutions and only you can fulfill them. Don’t keep looking back at last year’s mistakes wishing you made the changes you need to make in order to achieve your happiness. Make this year the year that you succeed and create your own success story.