If you are like most people, now is the time of year that you start to conjure up your New Year’s Resolutions. Slow down! There is no rush. You don’t have to have your resolutions finalized before January 1. Take your time and choose resolutions that are attainable. Don’t set a resolution to completely stop smoking “cold turkey.” Try slowing down the rate of your smoking. For example if you smoke a pack a day, try to make it to the end of the day with one or two cigarettes left in the box.
It’s important to see the finish line but more importantly you have to have a plan to get there. Create checkpoints along the way for yourself so that you can see the progress and keep yourself motivated. We can call these mini resolutions. For every one of your resolutions, create mini resolutions as a sort of road map to the end goal.
DON’T: Set resolutions that are unattainable. For this you need to be honest with yourself. Are you really going to start running 5 miles every day with your busy schedule?? Probably not..
DO: Set resolutions that you can accomplish. If you don’t exercise at all and your new year’s resolution is to start going to the gym, set mini resolutions like exercising once a week in January and, if you make it through the month without missing a week then, try bumping it up to twice a week for February.
DON’T: Keep your resolutions to yourself. You need people to check up on you and your progress.
DO: Tell everyone who will listen how you are trying to make yourself a better person. These people will keep you motivated and encourage you to not quit on yourself!
DON’T: Make a resolution to lose weight, instead make a resolution to eat healthier. Weight is just a number. By eating a healthier diet the weight will naturally come off, but more importantly your new diet will keep it off.
DO: Make a plan of action to reach your goals. Taper down the amount of cigarettes, cut out one type of unhealthy food at a time instead of trying to radically change your lifestyle because this will inevitably lead to failure.
DON’T: Try and complete all of your goals at the same time. Change is difficult and it requires time and effort. If you spread yourself too thin trying to accomplish all of your goals right away- you will end up burning yourself out and allowing yourself to relapse into old behaviors.
DO: Work towards one resolution at a time. This allows you to hyper focus day by day on what you are trying to achieve rather than trying to keep track of everything and getting overwhelmed.
Whatever your resolutions are, take it day by day and do it for yourself, not anyone else.