“New Year’s Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach
3 Steps to Make Your New Year’s Resolution Last
It’s that time of the year again. Everyone you know, yourself included, is making promises to themselves and each other that will never be kept. The traditional New Year’s Resolution. The clear majority of Americans give up on these promises before the year is half over. Why? They’re vague and poorly planned.
“In 2017 I’m going to…”
“… earn a promotion.”
“… treat people nicer.”
“…go back to school.”
These are all great ideas to pursue and I highly encourage you to go for it, but I’m going to tell you how to take these ideas and turn them into realities. Before I get into the steps, I want to be clear that succeeding and improving yourself in the coming year is a process that we all must trust. There will always be times we feel we are at a plateau, but after every plateau is another jump in progress. These steps will make the path to the next level of you clear. All you need to do is start.
Step 1 – Change Your Mindset
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” -George Bernard Shaw
The only way anybody is going to make any progress is by revamping their mindset. The first step to any change is being open to it. Be ready for the struggle. Sit down and focus on where you want to be a year from now. Write it down.
This is where your journey starts. Leave your fear of failure behind, because if you fail it’s a learning experience. If you’re worried about people making fun of you, laugh back at them for not having the will to do what you are. People will drag you down to make themselves feel better, and letting them is a mistake.
Take your future into your own hands. Let nobody else control it. Stop blaming others for where you’re at or where you came from, and forget the past. Set your eyes and mind to the future. Changing a mindset is no easy task and takes a large amount of effort. It will take a while, so don’t wait to start your progress until the mindset is different, because if you do that you’ll never start.
Step 2 – Set a Deadline
“Crystallize your goals. Make a plan for achieving them and set yourself a deadline. Then, with supreme confidence, determination, and disregard for obstacles and other people’s criticisms, carry out your plan.” -Paul J. Meyer
One of the biggest problems with New Year’s Resolutions is they lack any kind of specific planning. I once heard that a goal is just a dream with a deadline. So, for step 2, set goals. Never set a long-term goal without short-term goals. The short-term goals lead straight to the overall target. Instead of saying that you want to lose weight, try “I want to lose 5lbs per month”. This is an attainable goal, and easier to achieve than simply “50lbs this year”. When you step on the scale and have lost 3lbs, you will be discouraged because it’ll feel like 50lbs is impossible. The best part about this is, 5lbs each month means by the end of 2017 you would weigh 60lbs less than now.
Step 3 – Remember Why
“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.” -William Barclay
There is a reason we want to improve ourselves. Our reasons are more powerful than anything else in this world. A Person’s “why” is the root of change and the foundation of motivation. When eating healthy, working harder, or exercising becomes difficult – which it will – remember your why. Make a mantra out of it and repeat it. Write it down and hang it on your wall. Do something so that at the low times you remember why.
In the end, the source of strength and determination is you. The willpower to say no to another drink, or stopping yourself from snapping at a coworker comes from you. I do hope, however, that this article can start everyone reading it down the path to success in the coming year. I wish everyone a happy new year full of progress and personal development.