I hope that you have read 2016 New Year’s Resolutions, Part I and found it useful! Do you have a plan yet on how to keep those resolutions? If not, that’s ok! Read below for some more ideas. And if you do, that is also great! You should still take a look below to see if you can add anything to your repertoire.
6) Reward yourself
Do something nice for yourself after every win or milestone, no matter how small. It is extremely difficult to remain motivated over long periods of time. But, if you reward yourself after each and every win, you will help turn your actions into habit, which is more effective than motivation. Reward is the most important part of the habit cycle: cue, action, and reward (we’ll cover the habit cycle in other posts). Did you go to the gym three times this week? Great! Get your nails done as a celebration. Did you lose two pounds in one week? Awesome, get tickets to a game.
The second part of rewarding yourself is to celebrate each win. Allow yourself to be happy for completing everything you do. Pat yourself on the back and really smile! You have a right to feel good about it. Tell others as well but be sure to not come off as bragging. Go out with friends and tell them how you are following through on one of your resolutions. Hell, do a little dance when no one is looking. Cheer, yell, or scream while waving your hands around. Act like a kid. And SMILE. You should be excited. Did I mention smile?
7) Keep it front and center (read about it, talk about it)
In addition to reviewing your resolution periodically, spend time reading about it or a related subject. Talk to friends, family, and coworkers about something related to it, if not your actual resolution. Using weight loss as the example, you can chat about what kinds of healthy foods people eat, a person’s favorite recipes, or what they do for physical activity that is fun.
Read a Women’s or Men’s health magazine (or subscribe to one). Read blogs about health and fitness. Make it a part of your lifestyle, so that it is less of a goal and more of a piece of your identity. Ask other people how they are doing with their resolutions and maybe ask for pointers. Remember, the goal here is to keep it front and center, not to recreate your plan or brag about what you are doing.
8) Write it down
Are all of your resolutions in your head? They’re yours, of course you know them all…or do you? Writing your resolutions down will make you more likely to complete them (Dr. Gail Matthews, Dominican University in California). Here are some reasons why:
- It will force you to clearly define each resolution
- It makes them ‘feel’ more tangible
- Looking at them can/will act as a source of motivation later on
- You make it measurable
As a matter of fact, don’t just do it once. Write them down a bunch of times and leave them around your house. Tape them to your bathroom mirror. Leave them next to your bed so you see them when you wake up. Keep a copy in your car, at your desk, and in your gym bag.
9) Learn new strategies
You have decided on a resolution. You have picked how you are going to achieve said resolution. And, you are comfortably working towards it. Why bother learning new ways to complete it?
- You might find a better way. You could be making a lot of progress towards your resolutions now but what if there was a better way? There is always the possibility that if you change your approach you will get AMAZING results. At worst, you validate what you are doing now.
- You may run into a roadblock down the line. If you don’t have a backup strategy or plan, it could stop you in your tracks. If, however, you have a list of different ways to complete your resolutions, you will be able to move seamlessly into the next strategy.
- It will give you more information. By finding new strategies, you effectively learn more about your resolution (or the topics involved). For example, if you are reading health magazines in order to lose weight and you find articles that talk about healthy eating habits that give you more energy, you may adjust your diet for more energy.
- It will make you think. Maybe the resolution you made is not the right one for you. It’s possible. Or, maybe after learning about other ways to achieve your resolution, you realize that you want to tweak what it is you want. For example, maybe your resolution was to lose 20 pounds but, through learning about ways to do that, you learn that your ideal body weight is 10 pounds less, not 20.
10) Make motivation and inspiration a part of your lifestyle
Eventually you will realize that the people who complete their New Year’s Resolutions are the ones that keep themselves both inspired and motivated to work on them throughout the year (or years). Let me know if this scenario sounds familiar.
Jane has not been to the gym in a week because work has been crazy. When she gets home at night, she just wants to relax and unwind. It’s Saturday now and she realizes that she needs to get her butt to the gym. But, she drags her feet and it takes her 30 minutes to get changed into her workout clothes. It takes her another 30 minutes to get everything ready for her to go. Then, she drives 20 minutes to the gym, goes in, and starts her workout. She is not really into it though, so she only stays for about 30 minutes but can now check the box on her workout for the week.
What do we notice here? First, Jane is never going to make going to the gym part of her lifestyle. She has what I like to call a motivation issue. Second, when she ‘finds’ time to go to the gym, she wastes an hour before she even leaves the house. What can Jane do to combat this?
She can start living a more motivated life! I guarantee you that Jane has productivity issues in other areas of her life. How can she make motivation and inspiration a part of her lifestyle? She can:
- Read motivational posts from amazing blogs (like this one J)
- Be more optimistic
- Visualize being motivated every morning and throughout the day
- Follow all of the ways to keep your resolution in this post and in Part I
What do you think? Are there other ways that you have found that help you with your resolutions? Leave a comment below!