Though resolutions are known more for their failure than success rates, the New Year offers a fresh start to erase bad habits and instill healthy new ones. Whether you'd like to quit smoking, lose weight, start an exercise routine or fix bad finances, the New Year affords a great opportunity to start anew. Regardless of the goal, successful resolutions are all built on the same foundation.
The first step in creating a successful New Year's Resolution is attempting a realistic goal. Unrealistic objectives are destined to fail. Too often, resolutioners "bite off more than they can chew" with unattainable goals. It's great to be ambitious, but reaching too far too soon leads to failure. Instead of trying to change everything, start off small with a more manageable, attainable and realistic goal.
A New Year's resolution shouldn't attempt to undue years of bad habits overnight. Instead, use this opportunity as a way to tackle smaller goals in order to build confidence and move onto bigger aspirations. For example, if the ultimate goal is losing 50 pounds, a good starting point and resolution is to lose five pounds in the first month. If you want to participate in a 5K race, start off with a resolution of running five miles per week for a month. Both of these smaller goals move you in the right direction without forcing too much change in a short period of time.
Next, a goal must be measurable. Vague goals are too open ended to succeed. A good resolution should have both a time limit and a quantitative way to measure success. An example of a vague goal is, "lose weight." This vague resolution has no time limit nor does it have any way to measure progress. How much weight do you want to lose and how long is it going to take? Vague goals leave you confused and wondering if you're making progress.
Measurable goals are great motivators. An example of a more specific goal is, "lose 15 pounds in two months." This gets you started quick because there is a time limit (two months) and specific objective (lose 15 pounds). This goal lets you know if you're off track and when you've succeeded or failed.
Change is Hard
Finally, realize change is difficult. If progress was simple, everyone would be perfect. Any change worth the effort doesn't come easy. You'll have to make difficult decisions and sacrifice comforts you think you can't live without. Changing now, when you have the choice, is a lot easier than being forced to change when bad habits begin to affect health. It might feel easier to stay overweight and physically inactive now until you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Bad habits sacrifice tomorrow's well-being for today's comfort.
The Bottom Line
Think of progress as an ongoing journey rather than a destination. A good New Year's Resolution starts off small and gives you the confidence necessary to move onto bigger aspirations. Improving doesn't stop with one completed goal. Once you reach a target, set another one and another one. Change is never ending and a New Year's Resolution is just the beginning of more significant personal development.
Six Steps to a Successful New Year's Resolution The New Year provides motivation to those seeking positive change. January acts as a starting point for improvement, but all too often, this quest to change ends in failure. Resolutions don't fail because of a lack of desire; poor planning is the usual culprit and ruins even the best of intentions. With solid planning and a keen awareness of how much work change actually requires, a New Year's Resolution becomes a starting point for progress and personal improvement. Avoiding common resolution mistakes allows you to realize the benefits of change and build confidence to tackle even bigger goals.
Why a New Year's Resolution Fails It seems as though we go through the same song and dance every year. Come January 1st, everyone starts thinking up ambitious resolutions to transform themselves from unhealthy couch potatoes into health nuts overnight. They define success as perfection. This is a good thing, right? If everyone stuck to their resolutions, we'd have less smokers, lower obesity rates and heavier wallets. Unfortunately, very few people see their New Year's Resolutions through to success.
The Resolution Not to Quit Its that time again and after we find our way back home, recover from a night of fun and say good bye to our grouchy in-laws, its time to pick our resolutions and actually stick to them this time. A new year is a time for a new beginning.
What's the best way to ensure my New Year's Resolution succeeds? A lot of people's resolutions fail because the goals they set are unattainable. You can't change your life around in a matter of weeks, it can takes months and years to do that.
What's a New Year's Resolution Contract? A New Year's Resolution Contract is a tool that can help you achieve your goals. Unlike a legal contract, the only person who is hurt from not following it will be you.
Top 5 Diet New Year's Resolutions Losing weight is a great goal when done in a way that promotes rather than harms overall health. Weight loss mainly involves controlling calorie intake while a healthy lifestyle is more in depth and includes physical activity, stress management and smarter eating habits. A healthy lifestyle leads to weight loss through good nutrition and exercise habits. This list contains five small goals to improve eating habits and promote the creation of a healthy lifestyle in the New Year.
Top 5 Diet Resolution Tips Weight loss is one of the most popular New Year's Resolutions. Though thought of as difficult, losing weight is quite simple if you follow one basic rule: burn more calories than you consume. Even if you ignore every other health guideline, following the energy balance equation still leads you to weight loss. Since weight loss is somewhat meaningless without health, you should decrease calorie intake in a way conducive to improving overall wellness. When you make smarter food choices, calorie intake decreases, weight loss ramps up and overall health improves. Here are a few diet tips to make a weight loss resolution succeed in a healthy way.
Top 5 Ways to Ruin Your New Year's Resolution The New Year provides the necessary motivation to fuel ambitious change. While motivation is a requirement of change, it alone does not guarantee success. Change requires hard work, sacrifice and time. Above all, a successful New Year's Resolution needs a solid plan made up of realistic goals, firm targets, rewards and contingency plans to thwart failure. Here are a few ways to doom even the best resolution intentions. Success comes much easier when you avoid these common resolution mistakes.
Top 5 Reasons New Year's Resolutions Fail Change is sometimes necessary but not necessarily easy. As quickly as some resolutions are created, they are discarded and forgotten because resolutioners realize that change takes work. Creating a goal and putting a plan into action takes time and effort. Though difficult, this time and effort will eventually turn into real benefits that will improve your life. Quitting before seeing improvements is a major disservice to yourself.
Top 5 New Year's Resolutions The New Year can be a great starting point to bring about positive change in your life. Whether you're trying to quit smoking, lose weight or start exercising, the New Year can give you the motivation you need to finally start to change. Here are a few great resolutions that will greatly improve your quality of life.
Top 5 Exercise New Year's Resolutions Exercising more is a great resolution. It can help you lose weight, build muscle, make daily tasks easier to perform and improve your overall health. Here are a few specific ways you can make your exercise resolutions more effective.
Top 5 Exercise Resolution Tips Starting an exercise routine as a New Year's Resolution is a great way to improve your overall health. You can increase your chances of success by making changes slowly, cooling down after a workout to avoid excessive soreness and taking before and after pictures.
Top 5 Ways to Jump Start Your New Year's Resolution If you're going to have a New Year's Resolution, do it right. Here are some ways you can jump into your resolution without making mistakes. Having a solid plan will increase your chances for success.
Top 5 Ways to Keep Your New Year's Resolution Come January, everyone has a resolution an come February, just about everyone has quit. Don't be one of those people. Use a new year as a time to make real and meaningful change.
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