Keeping Resolutions

Happy New Year!

The new year is a great time to accomplish a new goal; be it starting a diet, going to the gym, or working on your new blog. Almost everyone sets some sort of resolution, and most of them (myself included) doesn’t end up sticking to it. So how should one go about setting resolutions that one can stick with in 2018?!

Set a specific, measurable goal

In my opinion, the biggest problem with setting resolutions is that they are too vague. Example: “I will lose weight in 2018”. That’s a great thought, but losing weight could just be dropping one pound in the first week. Or, “I’ll go to the gym!” only to go for the first couple of weeks (if that) and never again. If your goal is to lose weight, try something more specific, like “I will lose 12lbs my March 1st by going on a low carb diet.” See how much more specific that is than just “I will lose weight in 2018”? By setting a goal that is specific and measurable, you will be able to track your progress and see the small results as you go along, which will increase your desire to stick with your goal.

Choose a goal that will have long-term benefits

Scott Adams (creator of the Dilbert comic strip) has a great view on goal setting: focus on the system over the goal. He explains how having a system can give you benefits even if you don’t achieve your set goal. This is how I’m tackling my New Year’s resolution; to work on my new blog by putting out quality posts on a somewhat regular basis. My goal is to some day have a successful blog, but that odds of that aren’t in my favor. So instead I’m focusing on the process of writing, researching, and publishing blogs on a weekly basis. That way, if nobody ever reads my blog, I will still walk away with increased writing skills and a knowledge of blogging. Plus, it’s easier to stick with a system than with a far-off goal. And a small resolution that you stick with is better than a big resolution you give up.

Is your goal to diet or exercise? Then create a system for yourself that will lead to an overall healthier lifestyle, even if you don’t hit your target weight. Focus on the system instead of the goal, and it will be much easier for you to stick to your resolution.

Enlist the help of a friend

Ask a close friend or relative to help monitor your progress (or lack of) towards your resolution. By having someone to answer too, you will be more inclined to stick with your resolution.

Don’t lie

Above all, breaking a resolution is lying to yourself. If you have a friend who lies to you, you will lose trust in him. By that same token, if you promise yourself that you will achieve “X” in the new year, and you don’t, you will start to lose trust in yourself, and that will make it harder to stick with goals you set for yourself in the future. This is the ultimate problem with breaking your New Year’s resolution, and the one that will have negative long-term effects.

“This above all: To thine own self be true.” ---Shakespeare

Ryan Lally