It’s almost May, and you’re starting to feel like your New Year’s resolutions may have been too ambitious. You were doing pretty well for a while, but things got busy in March, and lately…
If you know deep down inside that your resolutions were good ones—albeit a little tricky to keep up with—follow these tips to help you stay on track.
Talk About Your Goals
If everybody knows about your goals, everybody knows when you meet them (or don’t). This can be scary, but it can also be incredibly powerful. Feeling accountable to the people around you gives you an added push to stick to your plans. Tell your family, friends, and coworkers about your resolutions so that they can support you. The best part of this strategy? You’ll end up with a group of cheerleaders to celebrate with you when you succeed.
Keep Track of Your Successes and Reward Them
Having a visual representation of your performance makes it feel like it counts more and also makes it easier to track. Try making a chart and checking off the days you succeed or use an app like Strides (iOS) or Resolutions (Android). Set up a schedule that rewards good performance and leaves room for small failures: something like, if you meet your goal at least four days a week for a month, you get to buy that new pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing.
Eat Healthy, Especially at Work
No matter what your resolution is, eating regular, healthy meals and snacks can help you get there. It’s really hard to focus on your goals when you’re hangry and no one feels like going for a jog after binging on pizza (even though it’s hard to resist its cheesy charm).
Keep nutritious snacks (like almonds, berries, or cocoa nibs) on hand and eat a big, vitamin-packed lunch every day. If you don’t have time to pack a lunch each night or if you’re out of lunch ideas, resist the temptation to grab takeout—convince your office to get a healthy lunch delivered by Foodee instead.
Remember That Failing Once isn’t Failing Forever
So you didn’t go to the gym once last week. Guess that New Year’s resolution is off, right? Nope! A year is a really long time and it can be easy to get discouraged. Keeping a resolution is a choice you make every day, so congratulate yourself every day you keep it. Only about 8% of people manage to keep their resolution all year, so if you’re still going now, you’re doing really well.
Imagine the Results
You chose your resolutions for a reason: you believe they’ll make you a better person and will positively affect your life. When you’re having trouble sticking to your guns, imagine being that person you imagined at the end of the year. Be very specific, picturing exactly how you’ll look and feel and what your life will be like. Visualization is incredibly powerful: it enhances performance, helps you learn new skills, and activates the same parts of your brain as actually doing the act you’re visualizing.
Keeping your New Year’s resolutions is super tough. When you get busy or stressed, it’s so easy to skip your workout or order Chinese takeout and give up. Hang in there! Stay focused and positive, track your progress, and don’t forget to reward yourself when you succeed. You’re already half of the way there.
Reading regularly is a great way to improve critical thinking and reduce stress.