Whether you started at the stroke of midnight on January 1st or you’re dragging your feet and planning to do it in June, a New Year’s resolution is an opportunity to positively make a change in your life. Traditionally, my friends and I come up with our personal goals for the year as well as our yearly predictions. Every New Year’s Eve, we talk about what we’ve learned and how we can improve in the upcoming year! I’ve found that talking about my goals with my friends has motivated us to hold each other accountable. With a little bit of inspiration and having the desire to make a change, this is how I keep my New Year’s resolutions.
Making a New Year’s Resolution List
I try to find bad habits that are negatively impacting my day-to-day life. I can name on both hands how many bad habits I have. Some more difficult to give up than others, so I often choose one that really bothers me and make it my New Year’s resolution to work on throughout the year. Mindset is important when coming up with a resolution. If I’m not willing to change, I won’t change. If I want to live 2018 without this type of negativity, I’ll put in the time and energy to make sure this habit doesn’t enter 2019.
My resolution: Waking up earlier each day!
Choosing One Positive Change
A bad habit to one person might be considered a good habit for someone else! Maybe one person wants to cut out meat products from their diet while someone else wants to add more protein to their daily meals. I ask myself why I consider my habit to be bad and if removing it will benefit my life. This helps me establish goals on how to approach this lifestyle change.
Is it a positive change? Yes! Waking up earlier will give me more time to get ready, feel refreshed before starting my day, become more productive in the morning, and sleep better at end of night!
Establishing New Year’s goals
It’s the greatest feeling when I cross off my goals after completing them. Whether it’s a small goal like cleaning my room or a big goal like learning how to invest in the stock market, I try to write down everything I hope to accomplish in a journal. A resolution can be difficult to work towards each day, so establishing goals can help keep you on track to break that bad habit. I like to set a monthly goal, weekly goal, and daily goal. This puts me in a mindset to see consistent progress throughout the year and an opportunity to reflect on how this resolution is impacting my life.
My Goals: Waking up at 6AM on weekdays and 7AM on weekends, creating a morning workout routine, using my extra time to make a healthy breakfast rather than spending money elsewhere!
Reflection Throughout the Year
If you’re not learning from your resolution, you’re not doing it right! I keep track of my daily, weekly, and monthly progress because it shows my dedication to wanting this change. It also gives me the opportunity to reflect on my goals. If I’m struggling to meet those daily goals, I might turn them into weekly goals to reduce the pressure and give myself more time to complete them. Keeping a New Year’s resolution is completely dependent on your own drive and dedication. This type of commitment is important for me to look back on day 1 and know that I’ve rewarded myself with 365 days of positive change.
Reflection: Having a paper pad to keep track of progress, defining your struggles and strengths, creating more goals to accomplish
Completing a goal goes beyond crossing it off your list. Whether you did your resolution for 12 hours, 12 days, or 12 months ago, you should reward yourself for making that first step towards a lifestyle change. Setting a New Year’s resolution is typically not an easy task. According to research from the University of Scranton, only 8% of people achieve their New Year goals. To me, the real reward is knowing I’m improving myself, my year, and my life.
Rewards: Reducing stress by being more productive, becoming healthier physically and mentally, investing saved money into other experiences
I’ve been guilty of saying “I’ll start tomorrow” when it comes to my New Year’s resolutions. I’ve learned that there’s nothing wrong with getting rid of a bad habit at any point during the year. Whether I start tomorrow or in the middle of 2018, the action of starting a lifestyle change is what ultimately matters. You cannot complete a resolution if you never start. Write down a list of bad habits in a notebook, choose 1 to stick with, set your goals, reflect on your progress, and reward yourself for a job well done!