by Jissel Garcia.
Every year around this time, Americans reflect on the highs and lows of the past year and resolve to do better. Here’s the thing about New Year’s resolutions though: they’re easy to make, but difficult to keep.
“I think last year I had 10,” says Maritza Castro, a CCNY graduate. “It’s a gift and a curse because if you meet all your goals; the feeling of accomplishment is unshakeable. Yet if you fail to meet most [resolutions], you end up feeling pretty low.”
When asked how she did with the 10 resolutions from last year, she confessed, “I haven’t checked. In fact, I don’t even know if I’ll want to check. Just thinking about it all gives me the heebee jeebees.”
Turning over a new leaf can be difficult. So with 2012 just around the corner, try these five suggestions for holding on to your resolve:
Make Your Goals Realistic
Do not make the mistake of writing a long list of goals you won’t possibly have the time to see through. Doing this will only set you up for failure. Don’t sell yourself short, but DO make your goals attainable. Remember – completing 6/10 goals is much better than 6/20.
It is crucial to have at least one person who will provide support and help keep you on track if you stray off course. Keep them close! They are your motivator and will encourage you to push through.
Have Monthly Checkpoints
If in a year your goal is to lose 30 pounds, then every month you should strive to lose five. Not only does this make your objective seem easier, but it feeds your motivation. Starting with small goals, or breaking a big one into smaller parts, will make the goal a lot more attainable, and the progress more visible in regular doses.
Reward yourself! It doesn’t have to be all hard work and no play. Treating yourself to a nice dinner after successfully meeting three routine checkpoints is OK. Finding ways to make reaching your goals fun will make this easy. The last thing you want to do is feel like keeping your resolutions is a chore. However, wise is the man who also holds himself accountable for their actions. If you don’t meet your goal at checkpoint, be a grown up – go old school and ground yourself. Staying on course takes discipline, but always remember the reason why keeping your list is important. Stay focused!
If there was one thing to be remembered from Biology, it’s the last step of the scientific method – RESULTS! Meeting more than half your goals is a success. Do not beat yourself up over not having met every one of your goals. What is most important is to learn from the trial, and use those lessons to perfect your technique in the next year. Assess the situation head on, and see where in the path you deviated. Use this to construe a new way to make it work next time around and stick to it. In the areas that you mastered, reward yourself and use this as a motivation to set even harder goals next time. There is always room for growth!