To make promises for your fresh year and fresh self is exciting, but to keep New Year’s resolutions is often frustrating. You can take charge of your goals for yourself and stick with them long past the next new year. Here are some ways to do that.
New beginnings are wonderful. They’re a chance to define yourself anew, to intentionally rethink your goals and direction. While each new day brings a fresh opportunity for new beginnings, perhaps the biggest symbol of new beginning is the new year. New Year’s resolutions abound, offering promises and hopes for the year to come. Our intensions are great, and they’re motivating. The vast majority of us begin our New Year’s resolutions with enthusiastic zeal. But then that enthusiasm wanes. Sometimes we’re frustrated that our resolutions went by the wayside yet again. Sometimes we don’t even fully notice that we dropped them until it’s time to make them again. This doesn’t have to keep happening.
How To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions: Some Practical Tips
One reason that resolutions tend to fade away is that they’re too narrow, too specific—at least at first. For example, you might want to lose 10 pounds. Or you might want to have the energy to get out of bed every morning. These goals, and so many others like them, are great for you.
When we start with something so specific, though, we easily get bored, annoyed, and frustrated because that’s our primary focus, and it’s easier to see how we’re not meeting those goals than how we are succeeding (I’ve been there!). Therefore, before you get specific, go broad. Here’s how to keep your resolutions, the promises you make to yourself.
Back Up and Go Broad
- Look for themes among your resolutions. Do multiple resolutions relate to weight loss? Do they deal with wanting more energy, the ability to get up easily every day, and other components to overcoming depression? What about relationships? Wellbeing encompasses many aspects of our lives. What seems to be your focus in your resolutions?
- Make a vision board. A vision board will help you identify your themes and hone in on the big picture of your life. What is your ideal self? What do mental health, physical health, financial health, social health, and/or spiritual health mean to you? You certainly don’t have to focus on all of these. That would be too broad and overwhelming. That’s why starting out by looking for themes is important. What is the primary focus of your year, and how do you envision it?
- Find your purpose. Why do you want what you want? Want to lose weight? Why? Will it give you more energy? Allow you to move more easily? Let you play with your kids or grandkids? Keep your medical bills down? How will it increase your wellbeing? The why keeps you going. Put your purpose on your vision board.
Bring it Back In
- Get specific again. What actions will keep leading you toward your purpose and vision?
- Make plans. Committed actions are key. What little steps can you take daily, and what bigger action plans will move you toward your vision?
Your unique purpose and committed action steps, no matter what they are, will lead you to New Year’s resolution success because you have one overarching theme: your wellbeing.