• Christopher Tanner

8 Tips to Choosing a New Year’s Resolution Right for You

“The difference between who you are and who you want to be…is what you do.” ~Unknown

Well another year has passed.  A new year offers time for reflection and the feeling of a fresh start.

We enjoy the idea of starting from scratch and improving ourselves.

Many of us have goals we’d like to get started on, but how do you choose a path that’s right for you?

I’ve given this some thought and have a few tips I’m hoping will get you off to a good start for a successful year.

So while I think you’re fine just the way you are…

8 Tips to Choosing a New Year’s Resolution Right for You

1) Really give your resolution some thought.

You know yourself best.  Avoid impulsive resolutions, especially ones you feel you’re making to keep up with others.  Choose something meaningful that aligns with who you really are.

2) Make your resolution something you want.

Make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.  Make sure it’s important to you and not someone else.  It’ll be very challenging to stick with something you don’t really want to do, and you could end up resenting the person you’re trying to please.

3) Be specific.

Wanting to “exercise more” may sound good, but won’t do much to hold you accountable.  Be as specific as you can and do your best to follow a plan. Instead of wanting to “exercise more”, commit to a set routine on set days (with a partner if possible), and make it a priority.  Don’t give yourself too much room to let off the gas.

4) Be realistic.

Don’t set yourself up for failure with a goal that is unattainable.  If you’ve never played basketball before, don’t expect to be playing in the NBA within 6 months.

5) Don’t try to do too much.

Spread your focus to goals that you really want to accomplish. Ones that have been on your mind. You can’t live the next year in a panic with no free time. You need time to relax and enjoy your accomplishments.

6) Go public.

Put a little healthy pressure on yourself by making your goals known. Chat with a friend or loved one every week and talk about your progress and challenges. This will help you feel like you’re being held accountable, organizing your thoughts, and putting things into perspective. Don’t go it alone.

7) Don’t try and change everything overnight.

If your goal is to lose weight, don’t cut calories too drastically, or change every meal right away.  If you want to start lifting weights, don’t jump right into Olympic level workouts.

Don’t kill your motivation by trying to change everything all at once.  Commit to small steps and smaller monthly or quarterly goals.

8) Reward yourself.

It’s better to steadily reward yourself as you see progress instead of trying to wait until you see major changes.

Don’t be afraid to treat yourself to something that won’t set you back too far.  Just keep your goals in mind.  If you’re trying to quit smoking, don’t reward yourself with one!

2015 Coming Soon

A few things to remember along the way:

  1. You have to make change a priority.  At a minimum, you have to give it at least a month. Those that stick with their goals for the first 30 days are 3 times more likely to be successful! Give yourself a chance.

  2. You’re not a failure if you didn’t complete last year’s resolution.  Don’t carry any negativity over from last year.

  3. You’re fine just the way you are.  We all have goals and aspirations, but don’t tie your self-esteem to accomplishing your resolutions.

  4. Don’t put off happiness until you accomplish your goals.  Don’t make yourself unhappy now while preparing for happiness later. Remember that all you have is now.

  5. Recognize that progress is progress.  Don’t get down on yourself if you missed a few workouts last week.  You’re still working towards your goal and doing more than you were last week!

  6. Don’t fear failure.  Most of what we do fails. Mistakes are only proof that you are trying and they do not define you.

  7. Focus on the process, not the outcome.  Habitual behavior is very difficult to change. You’re not only trying to complete your New Year’s resolution, you’re changing your life. Enjoy the ride, even if you have to take a detour or two.

My Resolutions:

  1. Maintain 3.5 – 4.0 GPA

  2. Maintain my weekly blog post schedule (start podcasts and interviews as well)

  3. Start speaking more consistently

  4. Expand my knowledge on mindfulness

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?  Please leave a comment.

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