Every year, millions of people around the world stay up late on December 31 to usher in the new year. The New Year is a great time for reflection on the past year and what improvements you can strive for in the coming months. Resolutions are made around the globe, and then promptly broken. Though by the end of January most resolutions are forgotten, it doesn't have to be this way. One of the biggest reasons for these dropped resolutions is lack of a plan. Here are some tips to help you keep your New Year's resolutions.
Make it specific. A popular resolution is to lose weight. Does it get more vague? This doesn't really give you something specific to aim for; try to pinpoint exactly what it is you want to do. If you start with lose weight, a more focused goal could be to lose 25 pounds by your birthday in July. Or to fit back into your pre-pregnancy jeans by the time your baby is a year old. Lose weight can also translate into a goal to eat healthier or exercise more, two other resolutions that may also need narrowing down. The point is, having a specific aim to reach by a certain time is more likely to be attained than a general wish.
Make it realistic. Lofty goals are fine but moving to the moon might be a little out of reach. Unachievable plans are soon left by the wayside as the New Year's Eve high wears off and real life sets in. To stay with our lose weight example, make a goal to lose weight healthily, one to two pounds a week. This is not only doable, it's much healthier for your body than crash dieting to lose five or more pounds a week. Giving yourself realistic expectations increases the likelihood that you'll complete your goals.
Make a plan. Without a plan, great ideas never get finished. Set aside some time to figure out what it is you need to do to accomplish your goals. Maybe you need to go for a walk every afternoon or join a gym. Or maybe you need to cut back to one soda a day and one dessert a week. Whatever your plan of action is, having one–and sticking to it–will be a great help on your journey.
Make it fun. Who wants to keep a resolution that drains the life out of you? No one we know. So do something to add fun to your goal. Dancing burns a lot of calories just as well as running on a treadmill and yet is much more fun. Nowadays there are multiple video game systems that offer fitness programs you can complete without ever leaving your home. Along with keeping things fun, allow yourself room for error. Rigid plans aren't any fun either. So go ahead, have that piece of chocolate cake at your friend's birthday party. Just don't go overboard and don't do it every day.
These guidelines are here to help you keep your resolutions but the real work is up to you. Nail down a concrete, achievable goal for yourself and figure out how to get there. But don't forget to have a little fun on the way. Good luck and happy new year!