7 Practical Ways To Make Your Resolution Stick

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Post written by Vishnu.

Are you afraid to make a New Year’s resolution this year?

Do you feel like creating resolutions is setting yourself up for failure? Personal humiliation and public embarrassment? A let down for friends, family and yourself?

You might feel so badly about New Year promises to yourself that you stopped making resolutions altogether?

How do you make a resolution stick?

As a start, don’t do what you’ve been doing every year. Don’t take out a notebook and write pages of resolutions. Don’t try to dramatically change every single aspect of your life. Don’t take on more than you can handle!

Below, I share with you 7 practical ways to make your resolution stick this year.

1. Pick a resolution that matters to you.

This is probably the biggest reason we break resolutions – we don’t really care that much about them.

It would be nice to lose weight, earn more money, start eating healthy but whatever it is we’re already doing may be enough for us. We may be getting by, so why improve? Pick a resolution that matters to you and envision your life improving.

2. Pick a simple resolution.

Don’t go for the hard stuff. You’re not going to lose 50 pounds or stop that wine habit you picked up at age 16. (In fact, they say red wine is good for the heart and the soul.)

Start with something small. Start with something you’re already doing. For example, if you’ve been going to the gym intermittently, resolve to keep going more regularly. If you’ve started to learn a foreign language through monthly lessons, ramp it up and take a class this year or take weekly lessons.

3. Give yourself a later start date.

You know that any resolution made on January 1st is going to fail. That’s the day people are known to make and intend to break resolutions. A January 1st resolution is a resolution set to be broken.

Get novel. Change the start date of the resolution. I like setting a mid-February or even March start date. And by that I don’t mean take 2 months off and procrastinate on your resolution. Give yourself a month or two to start preparing to take on the resolution! Set the groundwork. Start practicing your resolution to ‘really start’!

4. Focus.

Don’t treat your resolution like you do everything else. Increase the level of focus on your single resolution like an ant colony focused on removing a large piece of chocolate from the kitchen counter!

Set your intentions on the resolution. Visualize yourself doing it. Be prepared to commit to getting it done, including thinking about ways to attack it!  Elevate the level of importance in getting your resolution accomplished and be mindful of the resolution in your daily life. Heck, maybe even write the resolution down so you see it daily.

5. Think only of the next step.

Don’t you get overwhelmed when you start seeing the big picture? Especially when you start thinking about all the steps involved in accomplishing a task?

If you want to train to run for a marathon, no need to think about what power drink you’ll need to drink on the 26th mile of the marathon. Or how you’re going to look on camera when you’re interviewed after winning the race. No need to ponder about the clothes you’ll wear when it’s snowing outside during a future run. (Oh, and did I mention you live in the Arizona desert where there is no snow?)

Just keep focused on the first step. Then, the very next step. Start running five minutes a day. Barefoot if you have no shoes! Got about it one step at a time.

6. Declare it publicly.

You don’t have to go on Oprah to announce your resolution. Or write a best-selling book about it. But you can say it out loud and say it to others. No, I mean, say it out loud to others!

Even if it’s one other person. Even if it’s your dog. Actually, your dog doesn’t count unless the resolution is to walk your dog every day. Then, tell your dog and tell someone else too! When you tell someone else, there’s 2 things that will happen. That public accountability will inspire you to get going on the action. Or you may stop speaking to that person altogether!

7. Remove obstacles to taking action.

We can create millions of excuses on why not to do something we don’t really want to do

  • I can’t mow the lawn because I can’t find the lawn mower.
  • I can’t turn off the television because the most exciting final episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians airs in 3 months and I have to be ready for the finale.
  • I can’t start that meditation practice because I can only meditate in the mornings. And I’m a night person.

Whatever small or large obstacle stands in the way of your resolution, remove it!

If the gym’s too far, find one closer. If you’re too tired after work for the gym, go before. If you’re trying to cut out chocolates, don’t keep boxes of Cadbury’s hidden around the house.

What’s your resolution for this year? What are you going to do to keep it? 

Vishnu writes about career, life and spirituality issues for his community of world-changers. You can sign up for his insightful and witty weekly updates here:  www.vishnusvirtues.com  

photo source:  shesaid.com.au

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