By Ye Jin Chung
A new decade has rolled in. It’s a time where many of us are determined to turn over a new leaf and create our New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, most resolutions don’t end well. Everyone understands that consistency is the key to success, but it’s not always as easy as it sounds. Not to worry! This year, you might be able to make a difference with these seven tips.
1. Set simple, specific, and realistic goals: The most common reason why resolutions fail is that the goals were too vague; they need to be as specific as possible. For instance, if you planned to go on a diet, think about exactly how many pounds you want to lose at a certain interval. Setting unattainable goals will easily discourage you and lead to frustration, disappointment, and guilt. Back to the example of going on a diet–not eating your favourite dish isn’t likely to make your resolution succeed. Habits aren’t easy to break away. You know yourself best, so set realistic goals.
2. Divide goals into manageable chunks: Make sure to give yourself enough time to accomplish intermediate goals along the way. Decide on how much you’re going to accomplish per day, week, or month. If you have goals such as reading one book per month, see how many pages or chapters it has and divide your “quotas” based on them. It’s also important to start your intermediate goals small and increase them as you feel confident in yourself. Back to the example of reading one book per month, start with ten pages per day and gradually increase the pages you need to read.
3. Carry a planner around: Seeing what you have to accomplish written on paper is more motivating than keeping them in your head. As well, planners enable you to evaluate your accomplishments.
4. Increase your stamina: Strong mentality derives from strong mental health. People who don’t have strong stamina tend to give up easily. Maintaining good stamina is key to keeping up with your goals. If you don’t have time to exercise, build physical activity into your daily life, such as taking the stairs instead of an elevator.
5. Find support buddies: New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be a lonely fight. Find trustworthy and supportive friends, tell them about your goals, and ask them to hold you accountable if you’re losing track. That way, you can continue to be committed to your goals.
6. Don’t be a perfectionist: It’s impossible to break bad habits in one day. If you fail to meet your intermediate goals, don’t blame yourself and keep moving on. You’ll gain more confidence in yourself if you reflect on how much you accomplished rather than how much you have to accomplish. You are your worst enemy; negative thoughts will only hold you back. You may also adjust your goals if you’re not meeting the intermediate goals consecutively. Keep in mind that everyone has their own pace.
7. Reward yourself: Rewards are one of the best ways to boost your morale. After attaining a certain amount of intermediate goals, make sure to treat yourself!