Are you among the millions who made a New Year’s resolution or resolutions under the title of self-improvement? A new diet, a new job or a new outlook on life in your future?
Research shows that more than 100 million Americans make resolutions every January but only one out of five actually stick with it. Good for those 20 million people.
For the rest of us, consider the resolutions you have made in the past. Did you stick to them? Why not? (Yes, I AM assuming you didn’t.) I can only imagine that you set out to change your life. You planned on losing 25 pounds, finally snagging that job you always wanted, and you planned to quit smoking.
All. In. One. Year.
I mean, since those things are so easy and all….
Failed resolutions only serve to bring you down; physically, mentally and emotionally. Not only will you be angry at yourself for not meeting your goals, but you’ll be more reluctant to try again.
The answer: set realistic, attainable goals. Realistic for the everyday person, not some diet freak superhero.
If your ultimate goal is to lose weight this year, (who doesn’t have that goal), instead of vowing to lose 25 pounds by Valentine’s Day, try setting monthly or biweekly goals for yourself. For instance, cut out one food that you know is unhealthy for you in January.
In February, drink at least four large glasses of water everyday. In March, continue with your previous months’ goals and add one more. If you maintain this eating pattern in April, then challenge yourself with one more goal in May, such as limiting your alcohol intake.
By setting one very achievable goal per month you won’t overwhelm yourself or send your body into a food deprived coma. Furthermore, don’t beat yourself up if you cheat every once in a while. In fact, set a day every other week to do just that. Call it a mental health day.
After five or six months you will undoubtedly see a vast improvement in both your weight and your overall health, not to mention the drive you need to continue!
This same strategy applies to any resolution that you have for yourself. Although you may have an ultimate goal in mind, don’t force yourself to give it all up at once or complete it in an unreasonable amount of time.
If change was easy we would have already done it.
Don’t have another year of quitting before you start. Don’t tell yourself that you can’t do it. Don’t assume that you have more willpower than you actually do.
The fact is you CAN do it, but it is going to be hard. You aren’t afraid of a little hard work are you?
Here is to loving yourself, your goals and your life in 2012!
Have a relationship question? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Real Relationships will ask and answer questions anonymously every Monday!