How To Keep Up With Your New Year’s Resolution

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Does this sound familiar? You fly into each New Year with a resolution or two that you’re excited to keep, but then, you don’t follow through. That might make you feel bad, but it’s not about a lack of willpower. It’s nearly impossible to achieve your goals unless you pick wisely and create a plan to follow through. With that in mind, find out how to set and keep your New Year’s resolution this year.

Start With a SMART Strategy

Far too many people make resolutions that are too vague or unrealistic. Also, some people choose goals based on what others want them to do. As you can imagine, those types of resolutions are prone to failure. You can avoid these problems by using the SMART method when choosing a resolution.

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Make sure your resolution meets the SMART criteria before moving forward.

Create a Plan to Break Habits

Are you making a resolution to break a habit? If so, you need to think about the habit’s cue, routine, and reward. Then you can create a plan to break it.

For instance, let’s say that you’ve resolved to get more sleep at night. You’re tired all the time and want to change it next year. After analyzing the situation, you realize you’re not getting enough sleep because you watch TV at night. This is your bad habit.

Next, you need to look at the reason you do that, which is the cue. You might watch TV late at night because you don’t get much time for yourself, so you set aside an hour or two each night. In this case, feeling like you don’t have enough time is the cue.

The routine is next. For this one, it’s easy. Your routine would be staying up late at night to watch television, and that’s the routine you need to break.

Finally, you need to consider the reward. Your reward might be entertainment or having some alone time.

You can break this habit by finding a new way to reward yourself. If a late-night TV habit is your problem, you can set aside one hour each day for yourself. You’d give yourself time earlier in the day to prevent yourself from staying up late.

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Use Cues, Routines, and Rewards to Start New Habits

You can use this system to start a new habit as well. If you’re introducing something new into your life, consider the cue, routine, and reward associated with the goal. Maybe you want to start cooking each night. The cue could be your stomach growling, and the routine would be preparing the meal. Then you could be rewarded by enjoying delicious food and quality time with your family.

Your entire family can get in on the fun this year. Explain the process to your kids and spouse and have everyone set resolutions. Then you can support each other as you move into the new year.

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