Have you gotten to the end of your resolutions?
According to a UK survey, today, January 24, is the day most people will give up their 2014 resolutions. It’s easy to declare on the first of the year that you want to quit smoking, lose weight or save money, but it takes work to turn those resolutions into reality and create long-term improvements in your life. If you feel like you are falling off track (or already have), here are three tips to help you re-devote yourself to your goals.
1. Remind yourself of the purpose
When you decide you want to make a positive change to your life, it’s easier to stay strong when you know why you want to change. In other words, think about how your resolution will benefit you. Don’t say you want to quit smoking because it’s bad for you—that’s too vague. Instead, find specific short- and long-term benefits to quitting that will stop you before you light up. For example, you want to look better (within a few weeks of quitting you will look younger as your hair, skin, nails, and teeth are not exposed to the toxins from cigarette smoke) and stay healthy as your kids get older (after a full year, your risk of heart disease decreases by 50 percent and after 5 to 15 years your risk of stroke is reduced to that of someone who never smoked before).
2. Keep it visual
Resolutions are successful when you are constantly reminded of the steps you need to take to achieve them. Write down a list of activities to work into your daily schedule that will help you achieve your goal, then put the list somewhere you will see it every day. If you want to save money, write a note to pack a lunch every night and post it on your refrigerator. Over time your daily list will become a natural routine you don’t need to think about.
3. Be aware of possible distractions
Even with the best intentions, it’s very easy to fall prey to distractions and lose focus. Let’s say you want to exercise after work, but know you can’t resist the siren call of the sofa. Bring a gym bag to work and don’t go home until after the gym. If you’re trying to save money, only carry the cash you need to get through the day so you won’t spend impulsively on expensive coffees or clothing. Becoming aware of possible distractions will make it easier to identify situations where you can lose site of your goals.
Photo credit: wizzer2801