12 Jan 2018 You CAN Keep New Year’s Resolutions
It’s the last part of January. Even though we’re only a few weeks into the New Year, did you know that the majority of Americans have already abandoned their New Year’s resolutions? It’s kind of sad, isn’t it? So many of us start the year off with gusto, only to abandon our hopes before Valentine’s Day? Well it doesn’t have to be this way. So if you are one of the majority who has already abandoned a resolution, pull it out of your mental garbage can. Keeping a goal can be easier than you think. You will be glad you did.
Habits—the purpose of resolutions
The purpose of resolutions is to start a new habit that if done often, can make our lives better. Habits are powerful. For example, one Utah woman had never flossed her teeth growing up. As a college student, she decided she was going to floss every day. She missed some days at first. The habit wasn’t ingrained in her and she just forgot. Overtime, flossing became a habit. Now, she has not missed a day in 20 years. But it’s getting to that point, right?
The problem with resolutions
Many abandoned resolutions have two things in common—they are too grandiose or there are too many of them. If your goal is to swim across the English Channel in 2018 and you haven’t swum in years, you may be reaching too far. However, you could tweak the goal to make it achievable. Could your goal be simply to swim 2 times a week? Or to hit the one-mile mark? And what about the number of goals you have set? One man set 12 goals. He had so many, he couldn’t remember them without looking at a list on his smartphone. By mid-January, he had abandoned several of them but had kept 2 or 3.
Here’s some tips to achieving your goals through January and beyond.
- Instead of abandoning a goal, modify it. Simplify it. Make it easily achievable. Remember, once you have accomplished an easier goal, you can always add to it.
- Start again tomorrow. Don’t give up, just start again. None of us are perfect but as we persist in doing things, they start to get easier. Before we know it, we’ve achieved our goal. School children are often challenged to read for 10 minutes a day at home every day. It’s not for very long and you may think it may not make much of a difference for those kids. Over time, however, those minutes add up. 10 minutes x 365=3650 minutes, over 60 hours!
- Make a public declaration of your goal. Tell a family member or write it down. It feels more real when other people know. Sometimes the support from friends and family can make all the difference in you achieving a goal.
- Make failure difficult. Set yourself up not to fail. One woman’s goal was to get exercise daily. She ended up getting a dog. The dog had to be walked twice a day and so she walked, too. She ended up meeting her exercise goal and lost 20 pounds!
- Reward yourself. If you are meeting your commitments to yourself, find a way to reward yourself. All of us are motivated by rewards.
- Use apps on your smartphone. Go to your play store. You will be surprised how many apps are out there to help you meet your goals. Here’s just a few:
- MyFitnessPal can help you track calories and exercise.
- Mint can help you budget your money and track spending.
- Any.do and Toggl can help you get organized and use time wisely.
You CAN meet your goals for 2018. Hopefully, one of your goals is to keep caring for your mouth and smile!