New Year’s Eve is a week away, and with the close of the year approaching so rapidly, many of us are gearing ourselves up to make a fresh start, vowing to work out more, set a healthy sleep schedule or start setting aside money for a rainy day. However, as you have probably learned, it’s much easier for most people to set New Year’s resolutions than it is to keep them. With that in mind, here’s some advice for creating resolutions you will be able to stick with.
1. Set SMART Goals
Think about what has caused you to break your New Year’s resolutions in the past. Maybe you aimed too high, or were too vague. Try the SMART acronym to help you remember the best practices of goal setting. Your objectives should meet the following criteria:
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Attainable
- R – Realistic
- T – Timebound
For example, instead of saying, “I’m going to lose weight,” tell yourself, “I am going to lose 10 pounds by February 29.”
2. Don’t Overreach
At this time of year, you may be tempted to improve in multiple areas of your life, but biting off more than you can chew is a recipe for disappointment. You can’t expect to successfully overhaul your fitness routine, nutrition, financial well-being, organizational skills and personal motivation all at the same time. It’s a more practical approach to prioritize one or two of the most impactful areas of your life, and home in on those. Once you have successfully established new habits, you can turn your attention to other aspects of your life you would like to change.
3. Break It Down
As the saying goes, the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. In other words, breaking overarching goals into manageable chunks can make them more attainable for you. If your goal is to start saving for a vacation or a big-ticket purchase such as a car or a house, commit to setting aside smaller amounts of money, such as $50 per month.
4. Write a List
Consider writing out your goals and the specific details associated with them, such as the dates by which you plan to achieve them. Then, post it on your bedroom wall, your bathroom mirror or another location that will force you to look at it several times per day. Having a physical reminder of your New Year’s resolutions can keep you accountable.
5. Reward Yourself
When setting your goals, don’t forget to plan for how you will pat yourself on the back for achieving specific milestones. However, make sure your “treats” aren’t detrimental to the progress you’ve made on your resolutions. For instance, if you’re working to lose weight, don’t use food as a reward. By the same token, if you are trying to build up your savings account, you shouldn’t celebrate with a lavish purchase.
6. Never Give Up
At some point, you may encounter obstacles that derail your progress. When this happens, don’t let it be an excuse to give up. Think back on how far you’ve already come, then forgive yourself and redouble your efforts.
You Deserve to Succeed
Use this advice to make 2020 the year you finally realize all your New Year’s resolutions. And, if one of your goals is to free yourself from the cycle of substance abuse, reach out to us at Vista Taos Renewal Center. Our treatment team can help you address the root cause of your addiction and allow you to move forward with confidence.