Encouragement for Sticking with Your New Year’s Resolution

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New Year's ResolutionsAre you a new year’s resolution type of gal? Do you make them? Do you keep them? Do you need a little encouragement now that we’re well into the new year?

Still thinking about it? It’s never a bad time to set goals. Who says you have to make a resolution on a specific day of the year, anyway?

I’ve made them, broken them, kept them, avoided them, and everything in between. My failure to keep them was a result of unreasonable goals, lack of dedication or giving up before trying.

Often, resolution failures are due to being our own worst enemy.

In all honesty, I obsessed over resolutions when I was younger, always wanting to make myself better for the wrong reasons. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve progressed from a big picture resolution to setting smaller, more specific goals. 

The social trend seems to be moving away from the word “resolution” to other words like “goal” or “target.” They all have different definitions, so determine which term is most meaningful for you and what you want to achieve.

After interviewing friends and reviewing multiple articles on how to keep new year’s resolutions, I compiled ten pieces of advice to help you with your journey, as well as some quotes to inspire you along the way.

No matter which word you use, if you really want to achieve it, here are some helpful tips to remain motivated and dedicated:

1. Be realistic.

If you want to complete a big project this year, determine the baby steps it will require to accomplish the overall destination. If your goal is to eat healthier, don’t say you’re never going to eat chocolate again. (Who would want to do that, anyway?) Instead, strive for a more attainable goal: I will eat three ounces of chocolate only on Mondays and Fridays.

“Discipline is just choosing between what you want now and what you want most.” –Elite Daily

2. Be specific.

Rather than saying “I’m going to be a better mom,” write down what that looks like to you. Perhaps it means turning your phone off from 3-7 pm each day, so you can give your kids undivided attention when they come home from school. Instead of saying, “I’m going to lose weight,” identify how much you want to lose, how you’re going to achieve it, and track your progress.

“Push harder than yesterday if you want a different tomorrow.” – Fabletics

3. Plan ahead.

If your goal is to eat healthier, make a meal plan for every meal and snack, either daily or weekly. If you’re always prepared, you’re less likely to cheat.

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so you can do something about it now.” – Alan Lakein

4. Have a battle buddy.

Share your resolution with your spouse or friend and support one another in your goals. Accountability increases motivation.

“Motivate and support your partner. You are both a work in progress so grow and build together.” – www.livelifehappy.com

5. Write it down.

Keep a journal or write small goals on your calendar.

“The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.” – Oprah Winfrey

6. Chart your progress.

Keeping track of your achievements is great encouragement. You can go old school with pen and paper or use an app on your phone. There are apps for keeping track of your nutrition, weight loss, screen time, spending—you name it, there’s an app for it. Here’s a link to Digital Trends that can help get you started. 

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills

7. Reassess

At the end of each week or month, assess your progress. Analyze what is working for you and what is not and make adjustments.

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” – Jim Rohn

8. Give yourself grace.

There are bound to be setbacks. But don’t let them sabotage your progress. If you took the time to make a resolution. It is obviously something that matters to you physically, spiritually or emotionally (or all of the above). At the end of a bad day, forgive yourself for the set back. When the sun rises tomorrow, start again.

“With each new day comes new strength and thoughts.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

9. Believe it to achieve it.

The most significant roadblock to reaching our goals is our own minds. Eliminate self-doubt and believe in yourself. YOU are the only one who can achieve your goal.

“You have to believe in yourself when no one else does. That makes you a winner right there.” – Venus Williams

10.  Celebrate!

Plan how you will celebrate when you achieve your goal. Whether it’s a new wardrobe, a family vacation, a weekend away without the kids, or whatever fits with your resolution, having a celebration or reward to look forward to can serve as a great motivator.

“Celebrate what you’ve accomplished, but raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed.” – Mia Hamm

Best wishes on your new year’s resolutions! Stay positive, work hard, and make it happen!

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Erin is a Colorado native who loves both the mountains and the plains. She was an elementary school teacher until she did something she said she’d never do: marry an Army guy. Not only did she fall in love with him, she fell in love with the military life, and continues to write about it. Now she’s a stay-at-home mom to two amazing girls, though she’s rarely found at home. Erin is active in her community and church, is a former PTO President, and currently serves as Vice President of the Colorado Springs chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She believes in second chances, and is thankful for hers. She was thrilled to remain in Colorado Springs upon her husband’s retirement from the Army, and counts herself lucky to watch the sun set behind Cheyenne Mountain every evening. Erin enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, and any time spent with her family.