Sunday, 8 January 2017

How to Stick to Your Resolutions

In a follow-up to my previous post [I know it was a while ago, I'm sorry, Paris made me a little off-radar...], you know that I believe there is a method/art/skill in setting resolutions - making them specific, attainable, filled with passion - all that good stuff. That said, setting a resolution isn't the hard part - it's keeping it.

Now, assuming that you've set your resolution in some kind of attainable manner [you can check out my tips on making sure what you're striving for is within a realm of both enthusiasm and workability], you should find yourself in a pretty good place to start. Right now, at the beginning of this 'resolution period', we'll call it, you should be filled with joy, excitement, motivation, self love and ambition. Harnessing these things and putting them into action is the key to success.

But how to "put them into action", you wonder?

There are a few methods/tips I have from personal experience and research [AKA a weird amount of reading books that relate to self help, self love and success], however before you take any of these on board, you first need to be willing to invest time, energy and organization into yourself. Once you've decided that you [and thus, your resolution] are worth focus and struggle, then you can begin to set out on the path that is no-doubt going to be a tough one, regardless of what you're trying to achieve.
  1. Start small. Say your resolution is, like so many others, to get fit. Don't wake up tomorrow morning and try to make yourself go for a twelve mile run and expect to pull up fine. Going too hard too soon can not only grind you down [both physically and mentally in this scenario], but can put a bad taste in your mouth from day one. If things are too tough from the start, you're going to constantly associate exercising with pain, negative emotions, fear and whatever else strikes as you attempt to break twelve miles post-holidays. Instead, start small enough to ensure that you can keep at it long term, but large enough that you still feel a sense of success upon completing each day.
  2. Write it down. Having your goal put down, either written down or in photos on a vision board, allows your brain to see, visualize and materialize exactly what it is you're after. Plus, having your goal written down/printed out and placed somewhere you'll see it constantly will remind you of what you're working towards [and why] each day. Some examples: your phone screen, your password to something, at the top of your planner, on the mirror, on the fridge...
  3. Tell someone. Most of us tend to be proud people - we like to put our best foot forward whenever possible. By telling someone you see regularly about your goal [and why it's your goal], you'll be held more accountable, and thus, more likely to stick with it. Additional tip: tell someone who is firm enough to keep you accountable and who, if you go crying to them wanting validation for quitting, won't let you.
  4. Really plan it out. There's no point in having all that motivation, accountability and visual inspiration if you don't actually figure out and pave out a pathway to get you from A to B. Sit yourself down with pens, papers and calendars to work it out. For example, if your goal is to save more money this year, figure out how much you want to save each week. From there, work out what you're currently spending, and then use your projected deficit to find the things you currently spend money on that could be eliminated each day to add up to huge savings. E.g., buying one $4 coffee each morning equates to $28 per week, so by the end of 2017, you could save $1456. Plan out each day, and let the days add up naturally. 
  5. Review how you're going - constantly. Each night, week or two weeks [depending on your goal], take ten minutes to sit down and check in with yourself. Have you stuck to your weekly plan? If not, why? What made you diverge? What can you do in the next week to change it up and make sure you stay on track? Asking these kinds of self-reflective questions keep you aware of your actions and thoughts - conscious and subconscious - and to really see the process of forming new habits evolve over time.
This, today, right now is the perfect time to fuel your passion, harness your motivation and cultivate your own successes. Put in the time, the effort, the energy, the forgiveness and the self-love that you deserve, and your dreams will become realities - no questions about it.



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