Creating a Road Map to Successfully Reach Your New Year’s Resolutions

We’re winding down another season of holidays – a time when many of us celebrate by spending time with friends and family, exchanging gifts, and overeating some of our favorite foods.  That also means that we’re nearing the end of the year.

As we move toward the end of 2017 and look towards the beginning of 2018, you may be thinking about things that you want to change in the year ahead.  Some of you might be saying, “2018 is the year I’m going to stop smoking” or “This will be the year that I finally lose this weight.” Others of you might be thinking about what you want to add into your life during the coming months: “I’m going to get a new job” or “I’m going to enjoy life again.”

We have the best of intentions when we make these resolutions, yet most of them inevitably seem to fail. Why? Because so often we’re not choosing the right resolutions for us, and we’re not creating road maps for how we’re going to get there. Today’s post is aimed at helping you do each of these so that you can successfully reach your New Year’s resolutions.

First, I want you to think about resolutions you’ve made in the past.  Why did you make them? Was it because they were want you wanted? Or was it because that’s what everyone else seemed to be doing? Maybe it was because someone else told you that’s what you should do.  If any of these were reasons for your prior resolutions, they probably weren’t successful. If we don’t make goals that are true to our own lives, for our own reasons, then they aren’t very likely to succeed.

Next, I want you think about what’s missing or what you want to change about your life today.  What have you enjoyed in the past, which you want to do more of? What is something you’ve dreamed or hoped of doing, but haven’t quite been able to? It can be big or small – there’s no right or wrong answer, as long as it’s what YOU want.

Got your idea? Great! Now it’s time to build your road map to help you get there. Think of it like your GPS – you use this tool all the time when getting to and from unfamiliar places.  You open it, input the address to which you are going, and it gives you step-by-step directions. That’s what I want you to do when coming up with your New Year’s resolution.

How? It’s pretty easy, actually! If you can think of just three things you can do to help you meet your goal, your chances of succeeding will go up!  For example, if you want to stop smoking – maybe your plan includes speaking to a doctor, joining a cessation support group, and outlining a gradual schedule in which you are smoking less each week and then each day. See how this is different?  If you break your big goal up into smaller, easy to attain steps, it makes the resolution that much easier to get to!

One more thing to remember when making your resolutions… change takes time! Especially when you’re making what might be a big change to your regular routine.  It won’t happen overnight, and there will be times when it feels like you’re going backwards instead of forwards.  The key is that you don’t give up. Be patient with yourself. Try to look at setbacks as opportunities, and remember to celebrate the victories of moving through your step-by-step checklist. If you can do these things, you’re much more likely to see the changes you want in the year ahead.

You’re all set – Happy New Year and happy planning!!

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