New Years resolutions are in full swing. The gyms are packed, and organic food stores have the longest lines... But we can all rest assured that everything will go back to normal sometime in February. Why? Because any time you quickly force yourself into a major life change, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. How can you make sure that you STICK to your resolution and turn it into a lifestyle change for good?
The Key, is finding ways to hold yourself accountable. Here are eight tips:
1) Make your resolutions visible. The brain works in wonderous ways, and when you give your eyes and your mind a repetitive reminder, you achieve more. Place notes, or encouraging personal notes on your desk, on the fridge or on the side of the mirror in your bathroom. Make it aesthetically pleasing. Use colors, use pictures cut out from magazines or print anything online to stick next to the list to keep you motivated. If you are trying to get toned arms, cut out a picture of Michelle Obama in a sleeveless dress!
2) Announce your goal to the world on Social Media. This is a good way to have all your friends in on your goal. If announcing it on Facebook is too much, then tell a few close friends or family members so they can hold you accountable by asking you how it's going.
3) Write a timeline for yourself so you have a date in sight to achieve that goal. If the goal is on going then, have dates to check in to remind yourself of your progress. For example, if you are thinking about losing weight, check in with yourself every month on the same date and see what progress you have made. Give yourself mini goals to attain.
4) Reward yourself. Once you see small increments of achievements, you can give yourself a reward. Most people decide to reward their diet achievements with junk food. To me, that is counter intuitive. I like to have balance in my diet, and I love the idea of eating what I choose in moderation... but an entire cheat day of carbs and sugar will only make you feel guilty and unhappy later on. If your reward for your diet is a cheat day, consider a cheat meal instead. If food is not your reward, it could be a tangible gift or an experience. It could be a new book to read and help motivate you some more or a foot massage or simply letting yourself have an extra hour to watch your favorite show.
5) Make sure you stay inspired to complete your goal.
I would recommend making a VISION BOARD. I do this once a year and I have it displayed in my office where I see it everyday. I realize not everyone likes physical stationary as much as I do, and that's ok. Pinterest is a great place to build inspirational boards and vision boards too. Having a vision board helps with short or long term goals. The next move is to transfer those ideas onto your calendar. Write what you want to achieve and put it into a timeline. If you are planning a trip, you can even add your savings plan into your calendar to see how much you want to put away for the trip each week.
If you would like to check out my Pinterest click here.
6) When you start to feel defeated, re work the plan. If you find that you set your mind to a few resolutions that didn't quite pan out, don't worry, no one is judging you! And if they are, have no shame! You are your own boss! You don't have to give up on the resolution, just rework it to make it more manageable. If your original goal was "I want to lose 20 pounds in 3 months", maybe be more precise "I want to be more active and be more consistent with my workouts and lose one pound per week." Then you could plan ahead and write down exactly which days you can work out and attend a class or just go out for a walk or run.
7) Stay motivated by watching videos There are tons of videos and blogs out there that can keep you motivated to make changes. I find listening and watching someone talk about their journeys is very motivating. Seeing people's transformation with your eyes is very motivating. Once you capture that motivation, then you can take baby steps to achieve it. If your goal is to eat more healthily. Then the habits to change would be first to take out all sodas. Start with that for one week, then add, all other sugary drinks another week and then cut down on desserts and only allow yourself to eat dessert twice a week instead of everyday. Baby steps!
8) Staying organized helps me stay on top of things. Now, I am not suggesting you color coordinate your closet, or alphabetize your pantry... You don't need to have every sock in place. I am talking about general organization. Organization starts the night before. Check your calendar and have an idea what the next day looks like. Make your goals a reality by physically placing them onto your calendar. For example: If I do not schedule a time to work out, I will not go. If I want to eat healthily, I will make a time slot for food preparation. The probability of you achieving scheduled tasks is way higher than just telling yourself that you will find time.
Now that you have some strong tips for keeping your resolutions, let's keep each other motivated and change our lives for the better!
starts with being organized in your brain then putting it into action. HAVE FUN!