How to Follow Through on Your New Year’s Resolutions

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First of all: you can do this. It won’t be automatic, but it won’t take insane amounts of willpower either.

Don’t set the bar too high

A huge pitfall is trying to do too much. It’s easy to do your research, create a plan, and plunge headfirst into the icy waters of reality. Focus on what you can reasonably accomplish. Not a total upheaval, and nothing too drastic—just a few steps that can easily slip into how you actually live. Biting off more than you can chew is discouraging and demotivating.

Don’t benchmark yourself to other people

Speaking of demotivating, forget the Joneses. Trying to keep up with those who have it all together is foolish. For starters, nobody has it all together. We are all unbalanced in some way. We’re also frequently acting in front of others. We try to appear like we’re not struggling because we think that’s normal. Realize that your role model has his or her own unique challenges.

If you mess up, lower your goal

Do not double down. Do not vow to eat half as much food, spend half as much money, and watch half as much Iron Chef America. What you have is a gift: missing a goal is feedback that something in your process is not right. Make a small adjustment—not a big one—and aim lower. If you easily clear it, congratulations! You can now raise it a bit knowing that your aim is true.

Realize that it’s a marathon, not a sprint

It’s January 5, y’all, January 5. Good things take time, and transformation takes even longer. Realize that significant gains might take six, nine, or even 12 months to appear. Satisfy yourself knowing that you’re becoming a better person through the process itself, instead of living for the goal.

Resist the temptation to reward yourself

Finally, as you make your steady progress, banish all thoughts of a huge steak dinner, metaphorical or literal, as a reward for the small amount of work you’ve already done. You know what you get for your goal? The goal. The goal is the goal. Backsliding into the behavior you were forsaking is not rational—it’s lunacy.

There you have it! Do you have tips of your own to add? Share them on our Facebook and encourage others on their way.

How to Follow Through on Your New Year’s Resolutions was last modified: January 21st, 2016 by Leith Ford
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