5 tips to help you make and keep your New Year’s resolutions

New year is a time for renewed hope and energy.

If you have been thinking of doing something, New years is always a good time to get renewed energy and motivation for the task. I always tend to get excited about the new year because I can make plans to put new ideas into practice in all aspects of my life. It’s a new start, a new beginning to do things that I have always wanted to do but kept putting off or things that I was doing but then fell off the wagon. I love the feeling of excitement over what can be. However, the problem that I have which many people also face is that we don’t often follow through and the renewed energy and zest for things is lost after a few weeks or sometimes even a few days when we find ourselves not following through on our resolutions and back in the same old routine.

So how do we manage falling into this hole of hopelessness after the excitement that we all feel at the beginning of the new year?

Here are a Five things that I will be putting into practice in my own New Years goal setting.

1. Write down your resolutions on paper. I decided to invest in a pretty notebook this year just for this so I can write down all my resolutions in one place. Writing down gives it more permanence and helps us course correct when we fall through the cracks.

2. Be specific in your goals and I mean very specific. It doesn’t matter how many goals you have. In fact it’s better to have several goals covering all aspects of your life but just make them really specific. No more of “I am going to eat healthy from now on”. Write down exactly what being healthy means. For example, “I am going to eat a salad three times a week either at lunch or dinner”. It forces you to actually think about your goals deeper in order to make it more specific and secondly it gives you things that you can monitor. It’s what experts call a SMART goal. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

3. Follow through and hold yourself accountable.  It’s a given that we will fail but unless we follow through by taking account of what we are doing, we will never know where the opportunities are for improvement. When you fail at the goal, follow through and see it as a place to improve and not to abandon the goal altogether. Whether you follow through daily, biweekly or weekly, make sure that you create a chart in your notebook and give yourself a check mark for each of the goals you were able to achieve. Think about which ones you couldn’t achieve and how you can course correct or what you can do differently. Whatever you decide at those self introspection session, write it down because writing it down gives it more permanence and makes your resolution more dynamic and achievable.

4. Persevere. Remember it takes approximately 66 days according to some research to form a habit which means that you must keep at it for at least 2 months before throwing in the towel. Course correct as you go but don’t give up!

5. Mindfully manage your failures. What I mean by that is that when you are mindful, you realize that every moment is different and the fact that you failed at achieving a particular goal doesn’t mean you are a failure. Realize that the next moment is bound to be different and that the next moment is yet another opportunity to implement your goals. Mindfulness will prevent us from falling into a slump and to keep feeling that renewed hope and energy that we all feel at the beginning of the year.

And with that I wish you all a very Happy New year!!……. May this new beginning take us towards a happier, healthier and peaceful future.