It’s that time of the year again: you reflect on what happened this year, you decide to make some changes, and you start to draft out your new year’s resolutions. But wait a second, these resolutions look familiar…
Oh, that’s right — they’re from last year’s list.
We’ve all been there, haven’t we? At times, resolutions can be daunting and overwhelming. You tend to have unrealistic expectations in achieving them, and you try at first, but eventually, you stop and forget about them completely. Soon, the list is left to collect dust on your desk, waiting for another year to pass.
But have hope: with the new year just around the corner, you’ll be able to start afresh with a clean slate just like everyone else. Read on to find out how you can finally stick to your resolutions next year — the practical way!
Identify your goals
The word “resolution” is just a fancy term for “achievement”. So ask yourself this: what would you like to achieve in the coming new year? It could be as simple as staying healthy, improving your grades, or even leading a happier lifestyle.
Here are some simple questions to get you started:
- Is there a passion project that you would like to start working on?
- What would be worth investing your time in to add to your daily routine?
- What is the biggest aspect of your life that you would like to improve on?
Keep in mind that your resolutions should be realistic enough for you to manage the rest of the year. Creating high expectations for yourself will only call for a tall order of demotivation. Tell yourself this: “promise little, do much” — just keep going and don’t stop!
Break them down
Yay! You’ve made your list of new year resolutions. Now what? Well, what you need to do now is to take each resolution and break them down into actionable plans.
Remember to limit yourself to three approaches per resolution so you won’t feel overwhelmed(refer to the image above). Here’s how you can determine the best action plans to help you in your journey:
- Identify the steps you can take to reach that goal.
- Find out what are the major alterations in your life that you need to make.
- Determine how much it might affect your daily routine.
Breaking your resolutions down into smaller goals will make it easier for you to incorporate them into your daily routine. Once you’ve done so, they will seem much less daunting.
Get them done, one at a time
The feeling of demotivation and procrastination are no strangers to us, but there’s no shortcut around it — all you need to do is remember to schedule your action plans every week and get them done as much as you can.
Don’t be overwhelmed by your weekly to-do now, just look at them as daily habits and they’ll be so much easier to accomplish! Keeping good habits is hard work in itself, so we’ve come up with a short list of tips to help you:
Start with things that are easy to incorporate into your everyday life. Whether it’s drinking a glass of water when you wake up or meditate for as little as two minutes, find something that works for you.
If you choose things that you genuinely enjoy doing on a regular basis, it will help make everything so much easier. Starting on a new habit full of resentment is a surefire guarantee that you will not be able to keep them up.
Don’t be so hard on yourself if you miss a habit or two in a day, just make sure you try to get back to it the next day. Losing your momentum could cost you the whole streak, so be careful.
The first few weeks may be the hardest, but make it a point to check at least one item off your list at the end of each day. You’ll find it rather rewarding, and these feelings will leave you wanting more. There’s nothing that feels quite as satisfying as a fully-checked-off to-do list, after all.
It’s the end of the month and you’re curious to know if you’re on the right track. How will you know if the efforts you’ve put in has been a success?
Habit trackers do a great job to show your progress in a bird’s-eye view, making it easier to spot patterns. Then, you could decide if you need to make any changes to your daily routine in the upcoming month. (Take a look at our mini tutorial here to learn how to make your very own habit tracker!)
Here’s a list of questions you could ask yourself when you’re reviewing your month:
- What went well and what didn’t?
- Which areas can I improve on?
- How can I lengthen the streaks for the coming months?
Writing down your list of resolutions is only the first step of many to come. It requires a continuous effort, discipline, and a generous dollop of hope to achieve them.
Some resolutions take years, some take months — point is, keep the hope alive in making a change for the betterment of your mind, body, and soul. We’re rooting for you all the way!
Here’s to making resolutions, and sticking to them.