Sherri Ciko, our newest staff member to Linens by the Sea, has a blog for the New Year. As we all know, most resolutions don't seem to last past the fourth month, but the following steps that Sherri suggests will be sure to get you on the right track towards holding strong to those resolutions all year long.
Oh the pains of making those dreaded New Year’s resolutions! We fret and fray over which resolutions are best for us as well as which one’s can we seriously maintain throughout the year. Statistically speaking, there's a good chance you'll fail to keep your New Year's resolutions, but whenever we feel like there's a chance to leave our bad habits behind and become renewed and refreshed, we're more motivated to make progress on our goals. The ideal time, of course, is the beginning of a new year. First of all, keep your goal super specific and realistic. If not, you most likely will abandon it by the end of January. For example, you might commit to losing 20 pounds or running a half marathon. Choosing a concrete, achievable goal also gives you the opportunity to lay out a plan for how you are going to accomplish your goal over the course of the year. Sherri recommends selecting just one resolution vs. several. If you pick just one and really focus your energies on that resolution instead of spreading yourself too thin among a number of different resolutions, you can give it your full attention and devotion which should produce a better result.
Planning is an important part of achieving your personal resolution. Sherri's suggestion is that you should spend some time listing possible resolutions and then narrowing them down based upon the reality of their success. You can start by writing down your possible resolutions, making a list of things you might do to achieve those resolutions, and noting any hurdles that might stand in your way. After completing this process, begin eliminating any that may be too unrealistic or difficult to achieve.
Focus on taking tiny steps that will ultimately help you reach your ultimate resolution. Taking on too many or a large number of steps is a common reason why so many New Year's Resolutions fail. Also, radically altering your normal behavior is a sure way to derail your resolution! If you are a late night type of person and morning is not your best time to shine, then do not set a goal to get up at five AM five days a week and go to the gym. Your bio-rhythm will be way off, and you most likely will drag and end up giving up this commitment. That will produce a feeling of failure, and you will resent this choice as well as reducing your self esteem. Keep the steps pint size in portion. While it may seem like a slow start, these smaller steps make it easier to stick to your resolution and increase the likelihood of this becoming a long-term success. Keep it REAL!
Another tip for keeping your New Year's Resolution is to not make the exact same resolution you made previously that did not succeed. If you feel like you need to attempt this goal again, analyze why you did not succeed the previous year before moving towards this resolution. Take the successful steps you made and discard the unsuccessful steps, and by changing your approach this time, you will be more likely to see real results this year.
Expect a setback! Setbacks are one of the most common reasons why people give up on their New Year's Resolutions. If you suddenly relapse and feel like you are falling backwards from your goal, don't view it as a failure. Instead, consider these relapses or challenges as learning opportunities. Keep a resolution journal and write down important information about when the setback occurred and what might have triggered it. Write about your successes and your struggles. Write down the reasons why you are working toward your resolution so that you can refer to them during times when you feel uninspired and unmotivated. By understanding these challenges you face, you will be better prepared to deal with them and move forward to completing your resolution.
Sherri is sure you have heard this before but the buddy system really works! Having a solid support system can help you stay motivated along your year’s journey. Reveal your resolution to your close friends or family and ask them to help you achieve your objectives. Most likely they have resolutions themselves and can use your support, too. You can also join a group with similar practices to your resolution such as a running club if you would like to do a marathon or a Toastmasters club if you would like to improve your speaking skills.
During the first days of your New Year's Resolution, you will probably feel confident and highly motivated to reach your goal but after dealing with the reality of this resolution and all the pain that may occur along the way, your motivation to keep your New Year's Resolution will probably start to dwindle. Don't give up!
When you are in the heat of these moments, remind yourself of exactly why you are doing this. What do you have to gain by completing this resolution? You will need to find your inspirations along the way whether they are from your buddy groups, family, faith or just plain old stubbornness! If you really want to keep your resolution, follow these important tips above and by staying focused while working on your resolution all year long, you will be one of the few people to say that you really did keep your New Year's Resolution. GOOD LUCK! We'll all be thinking of you here at Linens by the Sea!