Making New Year's resolutions is easy. We do it when we're all full, happy and a little overwhelmed from the holidays. Keeping New Year's resolutions is a different story. But getting in the right mindset (both before and after January 1) will help you in keeping New Year's resolutions.
1. Make the right New Year's resolution.
2. Give your resolutions a trial run.
Don’t make keeping New Year’s resolutions extra hard on yourself. If your resolution is to lose weight, don’t eat with abandon all December and gain five pounds before you even start. Try out your resolution for a day or ease your way into it by making adjustments before January 1st. The better idea you have of the difficulty your resolution entails, the better prepared you will be.
3. Start early or late.
There is nothing magical about January 1. If you give your New Year’s resolution a trial run in December, and it goes well then keep it up. And there is no reason you can start in February, March or even November, if that is when the desire to make a change strikes you. New Year's resolutions are supposed to be ongoing goals, so don't focus too much on the start date. Now, on the other hand, don’t let this be an excuse to let procrastination get the better of you!
4. Assess and evaluate often.
Don’t leave it up to chance to check in on how you are doing at keeping New Year’s resolutions. Make a plan for evaluation when you make your resolution. Pick certain times of the year to evaluate. Maybe put it on your calendar for the 1st of each month. Or use other dates as reminders, like your birthday or wedding anniversary. Even if you’re not Chinese and Jewish, let those New Year’s celebrations (in February and September, respectively) be a reminder. Christians might tweak New Year's resolutions on Ash Wednesday at the beginning of Lent.
5. Keep trying.
OK, so you broke your New Year’s resolution. That doesn’t mean it’s time to quit. Keeping New Year’s resolutions can really be more of a process than a jumping off into a whole new you on January 1. Change doesn’t happen overnight.