A lot of people engage in the tradition of making a resolution for improving their life at the beginning of a new year. However, a lot of people have trouble with sticking to their new plan.
Since we are a few weeks into the year (the time when people start to struggle with their resolutions), I’d like to give you two quick tips to stick with any change you’d like to make, especially big ones, as New Years Resolutions tend to be.
One: Only make one change.
I’ve written previously on how one major change isn’t just changing one thing, but a lot of little things. So it’s important not to overload yourself by trying to make too many big changes all at once.
Many people make their New Years Resolution, they say “This year, I’m going to go to the gym more, spend more time with my kids, and get that big promotion.” Any one of these is quite a goal.
You are much more likely to be successful with your change if you pick one thing, and focus all your effort on the necessary behaviors to make it a reality. So if you’ve got five or ten things you want to change, pick just one. Take time to think about it, and pick the one thing that means the most to you.
Two: Keep taking action.
It’s very easy to want to give up when you have your first setback. Many people start thinking “Oh, well today’s shot, so I may as well just start again tomorrow” (or next week, or next month). Instead, acknowledge your setback, and take your next action step anyway. When you skip action steps, you’re setting yourself up to stop trying. When you have a setback, your thought should be “Ok, I had a setback, I’m going to start again this very instant.”
When you allow yourself to wonder whether you should start again immediately or wait until tomorrow, you create a mental habit of not knowing whether to continue. Indecision creates stress, and makes you feel more burdened by your attempts at change. If you decide to just keep going with your change no matter what, it takes up less space in your head and you can focus your energy on making a difference in your life.