Seeing resolutions to reality is difficult. But as we enter 2012, it is possible to hold fast to those declarations and make valuable life changes. The difference between success and failure revolves around strategy. Aligning resolutions with clear, purposeful strategies can help you stick to those resolutions this new year. Just follow these simple steps.
Be Specific & Focus on One Resolution at a Time
Although it’s great to be ambitious, having a long list of resolutions can be distracting, causing you to lose focus all together. Set yourself up for success by picking just one resolution. Once you’ve conquered that, you can move on to pursue other goals and changes.
Overly broad resolutions can also prove problematic. Declaring that you want to be happier or eat healthier doesn’t help you create an actionable plan. In order to set measurable goals, a resolution needs to be one explicit intention. For instance, if you’re looking to achieve better health in 2012, consider starting with the goal of improving your diet, and even more specifically, to eat at least two servings of fruits and vegetables a day. This resolution is ideal because it’s simple to measure and monitor. The more specific your resolution, the more likely you are to reach your goal. Make a resolution journal, write down a detailed description of your resolution and list the ways it can improve your life. Use the journal as a motivational tool when you become discouraged or lazy.
Surround Yourself with a Supportive Environment
Surrounding yourself with a supportive and positive environment can be exponentially beneficial to resolution realization. Do your best to spend time with friends who share similar goals or mindsets. Make it a point to make others aware of your goals, urging them to offer encouragement. Doing so can help you avoid temptation to stray from your goal, and break your resolution. Inspire yourself by creating a progress chart, enlisting a family member or friend to help hold you accountable. Supportive people and a positive environment will provide the building blocks necessary for resolution realization.
Create & Commit to a Process
It’s easy to imagine yourself immediately adopting your resolution into everyday life, but studies have shown it takes at least 30 days to successfully establish a new thought process or behavior. Instead of focusing on the goal itself, focus your energy on creating a process that will lead to your goal. For instance, if you want get more exercise, focus on the process. Where can you make changes? What are more active alternatives to current habits? Put a process in place, making the conscious choice to opt for active endeavors throughout the course of everyday life. Adopting small changes on a daily basis will slowly become habit, and require no thought whatsoever. Make a commitment to do one thing related to your goal every day.
Don’t Get Discouraged
Realize that change is difficult and accept the setbacks and struggles that come with the territory. Rather than giving up in the face of adversity, identify factors that lead or contributed to your setback. Locating the catalyst can help you gain understanding and come up with an alternate approach for future success. Consider the fact that you tried something a triumph in itself, even though it didn’t produce the results you had hoped for. Give yourself a pat on the back, dust yourself off and try, try again.