It seems like the tradition of making a New Year’s resolution will almost certainly be closely followed by the tradition of breaking a resolution, at least for me. But not this year. I’m adding a resolution: not to break any of my resolutions. Easier said than done.
So, I’ve done some research and it turns out, how you phrase your resolution actually has a lot to do with whether or not you’ll follow through. Many people’s resolutions set them up for failure before they even begin. A New Year’s resolution of “I’m going to lose weight” means you’ve already failed. What does that even mean? How much weight? What if you lose 1lb all year, did you reach your goal? It’s just too vague and too overwhelming to say that you want to lose weight. Instead, how about: “I will go to the gym three times a week” or “I will run a half-marathon by the end of the year” or “I will replace 3 meals a week with salads.” These are goals that are clear, achievable, and measurable. So, step one, make your resolution one that you can ACTUALLY achieve.
Step two: don’t reward yourself in a way that cancels out your progress. If your resolution is to 3 salads a week, don’t eat fries for dinner to reward yourself. Yes, technically you’re still achieving your resolution, but why did you make the resolution in the first place?
Step three: track your progress, there’s an app for that!
Mint (FREE): an app that helps you track budget and saving goals – even if you’re responsible with your money (you’re my hero) this app is awesome for setting goals and just having an overall picture of your finances.
Lose It (FREE): plan and track weight loss.
Cessation Nation (FREE): an app to quit smoking. Set a quit date, see how much you save each week by not purchasing cigarettes, and see health improvements.
Lift (FREE): an app that helps you start a new habit and track it. You can browse other people’s habits, get advice, and see what works for other people. This app is complete with professional coaching plans for a variety of different life goals (eating more veggies, getting control over your email, or even how to meditate).
Step four: tell a friend; better yet, enlist a friend to do it with you. Obviously it’s easier to keep yourself in check if you’re accountable to someone else. If you have to text your friend to say you failed for the week, it’s not going to feel good and hopefully it will keep you from breaking your resolutions.
Good Luck! Make 2014 exactly what you want it to be.