No Fail Guide to New Year’s Resolutions

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What is your new year’s resolution? And what is your style? Some people take advantage of a new beginning, a new month, the start of the week or a new year to decide to tackle a new goal, while others do not wait to make the change. Either way works, it is a matter of following a few key steps to keep you motivated to the end!

Where to start? Write a list of goals that are important to you. It could be anything from starting a new hobby, writing a book, living a healthy lifestyle—whatever it is, make sure it is important to you! After you have made up a list, circle three of the most important. Then narrow your results down to one. Yep you heard right, just one! If you have more than one your chances of success goes way down! Keep it simple.

The second step is planning. Proper planning starts with visualization. Take a moment of clear focus, start with a couple deep breaths, and close your eyes. Picture yourself having completed the goal. What does that look like? How do you feel about yourself? Why is life better having this goal completed? Many studies have revealed the positive effects of visualization. Let this visualization be what carries you through to the end of your goal. Complete this step throughout your journey towards your goal and refer to it in moments of weakness.

Many goals can seem overwhelming and impossible to tackle. An important key is to break down the steps to achievement. If your goal is to write a book, write down the steps to accomplish it, like choosing a topic to write about, finding the time in your schedule and creating a physical workspace. Do you have the tools to support your goals? Another common goal is to become healthier. What does that mean to you? More sleep, a good exercise routine, or healthy eating? Maybe all three?  Analyze the elements of your current routines that would make this goal difficult. Is healthy eating tough because you grab a donut and coke from the gas station when you fill up the car? Quickly find a replacement, such as grabbing a water and taking a couple breaths of fresh air while you are outside your car. The first time will feel very different, but soon those habits will become the new routine, and you will have set yourself up for success!

People will either dive two feet in and others will wade in slowly, whatever your style, just do it. At the beginning it is easy to have a lot of motivation, as time goes on, that motivation will possibly dwindle, it is essential to have the tools and develop the habits and routines at the beginning so that will carry you when things start to get tough.

Life happens and going back into old habits is all too easy. Often people will become overwhelmed or develop excuses. The secret is to expect them, give yourself space for failure and have a plan to get back up. Address those head on and dissect the reasons behind the failure. Often there is an underlying addiction that prevents us from moving forward. If that is the case, no better time is now to seek help.

The biggest reason people do not accomplish their goal is a setback. Changing the mindset to understanding that failure is a steppingstone towards your goal, gives you the space to be human, the key is to get back to your path of success as soon possible. 

Accountability to yourself or through friend will increase your chances of success. Tell a friend about your goal and have them check up to see your progress. Some people will post it to social media to find motivation. If this does not sound like an option for you, write a chart or use an app that you can track your progress. Celebrate wins along the way.

Once your goal has been accomplished and has become a part of who you are. Move to the next goal on your list. Best of luck!


Author: Emily Guerrero, MOTR/L

Independence Rehab,