How to Stick to Your New Year’s ResolutionsJanuary 4, 2023
How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions
Did you know that 64% of people who set New Year’s resolutions abandon them by the time January is over? Given how ingrained New Year’s resolutions are in our society, this statistic comes as a shock to many. But why do so many people lose track of their goals?
Resolutions might falter for a few reasons, but that isn’t a cause to give up before you even start. Instead, learning how to stick to your New Year’s resolutions will help you lay a foundation to pursue your healthy habits for the remainder of the year.
Don’t set too many resolutions
As one assesses all the things they’d like to achieve in the New Year, they may feel energized by their list. In the following days or weeks, however, they quickly realize they bit off more than they can chew.
While it may be tempting to treat your resolutions like a bucket list, it’s too easy to grow overwhelmed by the lofty list and give up entirely. Instead, select three or four goals that are most pressing to you and work on achieving those. If partway through the year you feel you’ve met your goal, replace it with one of the aspirations you had to put off at the beginning of the year.
Make sure your goals are SMART
Often, people make the mistake of setting too vague of a goal, such as “lose weight.” While that resolution is a great jumping point, all by itself, it is too little. Once you’ve identified the ideas you want to focus on, you can then make sure your goals are SMART.
SMART is an acronym developed by the Management Review journal that outlines the best way to create actionable goals. It stands for:
- Specific. Instead of broadly stating that you want to lose weight, set a more specific goal, such as, “I want to lose 20 pounds by June.”
- Measurable. This step is easy to define in the weight loss example, but perhaps a little more confusing in other measures. For instance—if one of your goals is to declutter the home, you could track your progress by marking each room in the house that you complete.
- Achievable. Many people make the mistake of setting unrealistic goals—like losing 50 pounds by April. Instead, set a more realistic goal that you can feasibly achieve, like the initial example.
- Relevant. When you select a resolution, it should always be one that is relevant to you. Your weight loss goals shouldn’t be set because someone told you to select it. Instead, it should be something you want to achieve for your own health and lifestyle.
- Time-bound. Just deciding to lose 20 pounds is a fine idea, but not having a measure of time can make your progress fizzle out. Setting a concrete time goal will give you a sense of urgency. It also gives you the ability to break your goal into smaller chunks, like four pounds a month.
Set a plan for achieving your goals
Even if you follow the SMART regimen of goal setting, your New Year’s resolutions can be hard to achieve without a set-in-stone plan of action. In the example of weight loss, this could mean going to the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays for one hour.
You can apply similar plans of action to self-care practices. If you want to make sure you reserve time for yourself every day, carve time out of your daily schedule to do that. No matter what else happens in the day, you know that from 7:00 to 8:00 PM, you’ll partake in activities you genuinely enjoy. Don’t forget to reward yourself for regular success and key milestones!
It’s okay to re-evaluate your goals
Is reaching your goals harder to achieve than you thought it would be? Don’t give up. Instead, re-evaluate your plan. Instead of losing 20 pounds by June, you might have to push it back to July. If you find you don’t have time to devote an hour to your self-care every day, cut it back to half an hour.
An at-home caregiver can help with your resolutions
Achieving one’s New Year’s Resolutions can be more difficult for seniors, but their at-home caregiver can help. Between preparing healthy, delicious meals, to running errands, to simply acting as a listening ear, a caregiver can make achieving your goals a little easier.
For more information on how an at-home caregiver can help, call us at 773-274-9262.
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