When the 1st of January approaches, a lot of people build a list of things they want to change in their life and to make them stick. These are usually small things, but with a large effect on our well-being and happiness. It can be tricky to build new habits and so here are some tips on keeping your New Year’s Resolution:
1. Be specific
When you try with goals such as “I’ll start eating healthier”, the exact definition of “healthier” for you is not really clear, so you start giving yourself excuses that yesterday you ate some vegetables or that you drank enough later in the morning and that’s why you can drink gallons of coke now. Be specific in your resolution - for example “I won’t smoke more than one cigarette a day” or “I want eat more than one slice of bread a day”, or “I won’t lose my temper with people”. As these are exact statements, it’s much easier for you to monitor if you are accomplishing them or not. This leads us to the next tip:
Self-monitoring is a big part of success in life in general. It means that you can clearly perceive what you are doing and also control it. This makes you able to achieve almost everything you put your mind to. Make a resolution chart or give your updates to a friend who can also tell you about his progress. In this way you are both strengthening your friendship and having another person monitor you, which changes your attitude towards the resolutions.
3. Keep a resolution every day
It is easier to keep a resolution daily, instead of every week or every few days. Even better is if it’s in the same time space as it becomes a daily habit and there is less need to actually decide to do it. Or decision making abilities are limited as is our excitement (when you are overexcited, afterwards you experience a down), so it is better to safe them for big decisions.
4. Review your resolutions
Keep reviewing your resolutions daily in so that you are always reminded of them. You can get an app like Google Task or similar, which will get your tasks on your phone and until you are finished you’ll see them every time you check your phone. This is the most effective way I found for me so far.
Making some New Year resolutions can have a gradual, but widespread positive effect on many aspects of your life. There is a proverb, “New Year - new luck”, but the one that brings the new luck is you. So, as they say from one exact big brand, just do it!