It’s the time of year when making new resolutions is popular, and it’s not hard to understand why. The end of one year and the beginning of another is a great time to take stock, to look at what you’ve achieved, and what you want to achieve, what’s working in your life and what feels like it isn’t.
Unfortunately keeping these resolutions isn’t always easy. We set big targets for ourselves, and if we fail to hit them, we can give up instead of persevering. Today we’re taking at how your resolutions can last past January.
Just because your resolution is something you want to achieve, it doesn’t follow that it’s easy – or even fun! Especially in the early days before your confidence, strength or skill rises to match your ambitions, sticking to a resolution – whether it’s to exercise regularly, master a new language, save more money or learn to knit – is a challenge to your willpower.
Once answer to this challenge is find a system of rewards – before you start showing enough success to be a reward in itself. Make sure your rewards don’t undermine what you’re trying to achieve – rewarding yourself for exercise with chocolate might make it harder for you to achieve your goals.
Shaming yourself for failing might not be productive, but finding a source of positive reinforcement to recognise your efforts might be the difference between success and failure for your new year’s resolutions.
Making it Easy
One important thing you can do to help yourself keep your new year’s resolutions is to remove as many barriers to success as you can. If it’s a difficult task, then any friction could be an excuse to stop, and once you interrupt your momentum, you might never get started again. So look for ways you can remove those roadblocks.
If your ambition is to learn how to knit so that you can homemade gifts for your family next Christmas, sign up for a subscription for monthly craft boxes. If all the supplies you need are delivered to your door every month along with instructions for a new project, you can’t run out of materials or inspiration.
Removing barriers might be as easy as setting time aside in your calendar – whether it’s at work, shared with your family or personal. Time marked out for exercise or practice on a shared calendar means you’re less likely to be interrupted, and it’s a personal reminder to you that this time is important. It’s something you value, so you’ll make the effort!