Making resolutions for the new year is an age old tradition many people take part in as a way of improving their lives. As each year winds down and we look ahead, many of us write lists, set goals and resolve to make improvements that will help make life better, more fulfilling and more complete. Though resolutions are meant to be a positive thing, often they lead to a lot of stress.
Most resolutions revolve around doing better and being better. We try to shorten the gap between our current selves, our current lives and our ideals. While this is a worthy goal, it is important to remember that the changes won’t benefit us if they bring added stress into our lives, either during the process of change or after the changes have been made.
Even though there can be challenges and hurdles along the way, it can be highly motivating and growth-promoting to set goals for yourself and work toward positive life changes. However, it is essential that this is done in a way that allows you to achieve a sense of success without unnecessary stress or anxiety.
Here are a few tips that can help make setting and keeping your New Year’s resolutions stress-free.
Many people become stressed out and deeply disappointed simply because they’ve set unrealistic goals for themselves – or ones that are highly difficult to achieve. Let’s use weight loss as an example since losing weight is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions people make. If you promise yourself that you will lose a certain number of pounds every week until you reach your goal weight, chances are you will fail because that is not a realistic goal to set.
It is much more effective to create a goal that focuses on the process instead of the final outcome. For example, resolving to eat better and exercise more so that you can gradually drop those unwanted pounds over time means that the process of getting healthy and in shape is the ultimate aim. In other words, instead of measuring your progress solely based on pounds lost, measure it in terms of feeling more energized, stronger, and healthier. Try to make a goal of working out regularly each week and eating better food, which will in turn help you trim down. You will most likely achieve a greater sense of success with this type of plan without setting yourself up for undue stress or disappointment.
People normally start the New Year creating long-term goals. Though well intentioned, the problem with year-long goals is often times we don’t follow through with them. The best way to avoid having your goals fall by the wayside over the course of a year is to create 90-day goals instead. Life can change a lot in a year so a goal you set in January may not feel relevant in 12 months. Or, because a year feels like a long ways away, it’s much easier to push those goals off, telling yourself that you can always start tomorrow. Ninety-day goals, on the other hand, hold you accountable and allow you to see an achievable end in sight – both of which are factors that increase the chances of success!
You will work harder at achieving your goals if you work toward them with a friend. There is nothing like the support given by a good friend who cheers you on while holding you accountable. Plus, your support will help your friend reach his or her goals too! Two people who support one another in reaching their goals is always a better recipe for success than going it alone. Find a goal buddy who also has some goals to achieve this year and then partner up and enjoy the power of two!
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