Don't give up on those new year's resolutions yet
How are those new year's resolutions working out for you?
Truth be told, most of us wind up foregoing the resolutions we've barely begun only a few short weeks into the new year. If your resolve has begun to wane, it's not too late to re-energize it.
Here are seven ways to keep your motivation up and to prevent life from getting in the way of your goals:
Pick a goal you believe in and seriously intend to achieve. Most people agree that 2011 was a tough year. As a result, many of us came into 2012 with extremely high expectations, making multiple resolutions, any one of which would be hard to achieve. Rather than setting yourself up for failure, pick one resolution that you can realistically accomplish without turning your life upside down. Often, working toward one goal inevitably leads to accomplishing others you had in mind.
Write it down -- every day if you have to. Doing so serves as a reminder. More importantly, however, when something's on paper we're less likely to alter it in our heads, allowing ourselves sneaky ways to bend the rules. One of my patients writes his resolution on the mirror annually.
This drives his wife crazy, but he swears it's how he gave up smoking.
Keep a calendar. Many folks use Google Calendar to set goal reminders, tracking progress toward their goals on a daily basis. While you're at it, use the calendar to stay on top of every thing else in your life by color-coding multiple calendars and tracking as many things as you want.
Make a workout calendar, a financial calendar, an appointment calendar. Consistently referring back to your calendars will keep you focused on the one that tracks your resolution.
Reward yourself. Another patient wanted to give up alcohol to support her boyfriend, a recovering alcoholic. She made her resolution fun, and easier to stick to, by setting aside all the money she would have spent on alcohol each month, and used half of it on new clothes.
The reward made it easier for her not to feel deprived.
There's plenty of time left, and tons of great tools and tactics to get you back on track. Good luck.
Work with a friend or partner.
Even if your goals aren't the same, your schedules will probably correlate in some way, affording opportunities to touch base on your progress. You'll also increase the likelihood that one of you will be motivated on a given day, even if the other is not. Partnering up forces you to be honest and stay focused on your goal.
Be strong in the face of setbacks.
When your resolution is something that's really difficult for you to keep, like giving up sweets or eating fewer carbs, don't let one brownie be an excuse to have several. This approach will get you nowhere.
Studies have shown that over half the people who allow themselves some slips along the way and power through them are ultimately more successful in reaching their goal. So don't despair.
The unanticipated benefit of sticking with her resolution was that she inadvertently lost weight as the result of abstaining from alcohol. So, when she bought those new clothes, they helped display her svelte new figure.