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How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolution

It is the beginning of 2022 and you are ready to take this year by storm. You have created a list of resolutions because what better time is there to change your lifestyle than in accordance with the New Year?

But now it is three weeks in, and you notice that the drive you had to stick to these new changes is dwindling, and you may even wonder why you thought you would be able to do this in the first place.

My friend! It may be nearing the end of January, but that does not mean you have to give up on your goals if you have not been able to stick to them. Instead, try these tips and tricks, and remember: if a New Year’s resolution fails at first, you can always try again! And no, you do not have to wait until next year.

It takes 18 days to form a new habit.

If you notice that it is difficult to keep a gym schedule or eat healthier, or whatever your resolution may be, remember that it typically takes 18 days to form a new habit. Instead of thinking “how can I possibly keep this up indefinitely?” try to change your mindset to focus on the first eighteen days of implementing a change. After that, this change should not seem as foreign, as you will adjust and it will eventually become a part of your routine without a second thought!

Create a goal statement with specific plans on how to achieve these goals.

One strategy that has certainly helped me was writing down a goal statement. This included goals of different entities, from making time for myself to working out on a regular basis. However, only writing down the end goal is often far too unspecific for lasting change to occur. Include a plan on how you can achieve this goal so that you know the actions you must take and the tools you may need to get there. For example, instead of simply stating that I would like to work out more, I created a day-by-day schedule of when I can work out, where, what specific type of exercise I would like to focus on for that day, and what day I plan to rest.

Remind yourself that you are doing this for your future and because you love yourself.

My main New Year’s resolution this year was to quit nicotine (vaping, specifically.) This tip was actually advice from my best friend, and it made all the difference in achieving this goal. At first, I told myself that I was quitting because I hated myself for doing it in the first place. However, once I switched my mindset to thinking “I am doing this because I love myself and care about my health,” I found it much easier to resist the urge and continue on with my goal. Using positive affirmations as opposed to negative implications allows us to feel more motivated in implementing change.

If you slip up, try again!

An important aspect of New Year’s resolutions that are often not talked about is the fact that we are human and we are bound to make mistakes. So, let’s say your goal is to go to the gym four times a week, and you only went twice because work came up. That does not mean you should feel discouraged! Instead, celebrate the fact that you are trying, and make an active effort to continue pursuing your goal. Oftentimes, we become disappointed if we cannot immediately achieve a goal we have for ourselves, when, in reality, we are bound to make mistakes here and there. In fact, I did not officially begin my goal until the third day of January. Instead of feeling guilty, I reminded myself that every day is a new chance!

hold yourself accountable.

Ask yourself why you are trying to reach this resolution in the first place: is it for your health? Your future? Reminding yourself why you have this goal is motivation to continue pursuing it. Hold yourself accountable for your future and for the decisions you make, and you will realize that only you are in charge of your success!

Lover of pumpkin pie and curiosity. IUP Nursing 2024
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