3 Keys to Keeping Your (Not So) New Year’s Resolutions
Now that we’re in February (the time when most people’s New Year’s resolutions start to get less resolution-y), it’s a great opportunity to take a look at the resolutions you made in January. These 3 tips will help keep you on track and moving toward your goal.
Have a Plan (and a Contingency Plan)
When and where will you do the things that’ll help you reach your goal? Make time and put it in your schedule like you would any standing appointment. You can’t foresee every obstacle, but you can have a plan B waiting for the situations that have derailed you in the past. Most people tend to make the same resolutions year after year, so think about what hasn’t worked in the past and how to change that this year. If you know that the last time you tried to lost weight, Happy Hour was your downfall, make a plan to eat something healthy before you go, and alternate drinks with seltzer.
Make Small, Consistent Changes
“Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of a window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.”-Mark Twain
Oh, that Mark Twain! Besides having a truly spectacular mustache, he was totally right about the way to change a habit. Make a small change that you can do consistently and turn into a habit. Whenever possible, link your new change to habits you already have. I wanted to be sure to floss every night, but I just couldn’t remember and I didn’t particularly enjoy standing in my bathroom, flossing. I watch a few minutes of TV in bed at night before I go to sleep, so I moved the dental floss to my nightstand. Now that I’ve tied flossing to something I do consistently, it’s easy to remember.
Take Advantage of Tiny Time
All those minutes spent waiting for coffee to brew or your ipod to synch can add up to a great time to support your resolutions and goals. Start to notice when you’re just standing around waiting and look for ways to utilize that time.
If getting organized is your goal, pick up and put away a few items that have migrated, pay a bill, write a quick email, take the plastic off your dry cleaning, or toss some old food out of the fridge. If you want to lose weight, throw in a few jumping jacks or dance around like a maniac for a couple of minutes. Our lives are really just the sum of all these tiny blocks of time, so use them in a way that reflects what you want your life to be.
There’s no foolproof way to ensure you’ll keep your resolutions. The important thing is that when you slip up or slack off (we all do), stop, look at what’s going wrong, and readjust.