So, it's mid-January, and you've got your exciting New Year's Resolutions all planned out and ready to go. But are you still unsure of where to begin your journey—or how to keep the momentum going? Take your next steps with these tips from successful SparkPeople members who have stuck with their own goals for the long haul!
''Accountability helps! Tell someone about your resolution. Sharing your goals takes them from a 'nice idea' to reality.''
''My resolutions are year round, with a goal, plan, and measurable results. What works for me is simple; small steps over time. Examples: Resolution 1 = Better nutrition. So, for the first 3-4 weeks of the new year, I'll build more nutritious foods into my diet and focus on that until it's a habit and then move on to #2.
Resolution 2 = Fitness. I'll add gym time or active time for 3-4 weeks until that is also a habit. If Resolution #1 slips while I'm focusing on Resolution #2, then I will focus on Resolution #1 some more.''
''I have learned that I have to set myself up for success by choosing things that are doable, like working on small, easy-to-achieve behaviors instead of things like 'lose 50 pounds.' ''
''I've stuck to resolutions by being flexible with the date! I don't necessarily start the resolution on January 1st, and will review my progress every so often, allowing myself to restart rather than just give up if I have a lapse. I quit smoking by doing this.''
''I start any time that seems good. If I realize I need to change something, then that is the time to start. I might have to break down the huge idea into small steps, but never wait to start. What day of the week do most diets start? Tomorrow. Start today!''
''Set shorter-term goals that you can accomplish on the way to your long-term goal resolution.''
''Don't lose your motivation when you have a setback. Get right back up and keep going!!''
''I tell as many people as possible (husband, family, friends, even my clients!). That way, everywhere I turn, there are people holding me accountable. The more people I know will be checking in with me and my resolutions, the more motivated I am to keep up with them. It's worked with all my other healthy-living goals, so I have high hopes for this year's resolutions!''
''I copied an idea from another sparker. She wrote a blog every week called a WUB - Weekly Update Blog. She wrote 4-5 behaviors she wanted to do often and was very specific using SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. By making a weekly assessment, it forces me to keep the goals in mind. Even if I start to slip, looking at the list so often keeps me going--maybe even for a whole year! If a goal becomes a habit or is just not working, then change it. One of the goals must also be about writing the WUB! That is the one that won't allow you to neglect the resolution(s).''
''I've started to take a moment before getting out of bed in the morning to forecast my day, review my goal, and think of some possible workarounds for obstacles.
I also tend to not think about my goals as for 'the new year' and more as the steps to building a healthier, more 'Spark'-ling lifestyle in general.''
''First, make my resolutions 'wanna-do's' instead of 'should-do's'. If it's not something I'm excited about, it probably won't last through the middle of January. Second, keep it simple. The more complicated the planning has to be, the less likely I am to stick with it. Third, allow for times I slip up, and resolve to get right back into the program as soon as I can.''
''Choose one or two things that you really want to do and make having a New Year’s Resolution an opportunity to start doing it. One of my most successful was resolving to recycle more. I kept it, and am still keeping it now, several years later; I needed the 'resolution' thing to get around to doing something about it.
If a resolution slips, that's not the end of it. A little lapse doesn't matter, so long as you get back on the wagon again.''
''Write them down, make them small baby step goals and reward yourself.''
''I establish a number of measurable goals--some small, some more complex, so I am bound to meet some of them faster than others. I celebrate every success—from tiny to huge! At times, it has been important to reassess/revise throughout the year depending on my progress. It is not always easy, but I love to start the brand new year with challenges that may lead to growth and improvement, even though we don't have to wait until January 1st to seize an opportunity!''
''Sticking to a resolution is tough, whether it's the New Year or the middle of the year. Most resolutions are vague and often abandoned because they are made without planning. I chose to take small specific steps, like the Fast Break goals here on SparkPeople. They are easier to obtain and not overwhelming.''
''Keep it simple and doable. Always keep a reminder in sight, track your progress, reward yourself, and keep yourself encouraged. If you haven’t done so well, don’t beat yourself up--pick yourself up and start again. Learn to like, love and respect yourself, and the rest will follow.''
''I learned on SparkPeople to start a Streak—meaning, start counting days/weeks/months of goal achievement. Celebrate and reward achievement. Blog and tell all your SparkFriends. Put it in your SparkPage status, too. Should you slip, keep track of your successful percentage and start the Streak again--and aim for a new record!!''
''Take it one day at a time. Success is not earned a marathon at a time, but by putting one foot in front of the other. You'll be successful if you have one successful day after another.''
''Make a commitment, not a resolution. Type it out, sign it and put it on the fridge, or somewhere you and everyone else can see it.''
''My 2012 resolution was easy: Make a daily commitment to healthy eating and exercise, including recording EVERYTHING I eat and sweat out. As a result, I lost 125 pounds this year and went from a size 26 to a size 8 dress. As long as I made it something that I had to do on a daily basis, it was doable for me.''
''Take it one day at a time, OR 1 hour at a time, OR 10 minutes at a time.''
''Commit to it! Don't 'try it' or 'attempt it.' Tell yourself you will do it--and keep working at it.''
''Don't make them so unrealistic that you can't succeed before you hardly get started.''
''I made New Year’s Resolutions for 15 years and never made it past the 6-week mark. The problem was that I wanted to change the way I looked, but not the way I ate--this has been the key for me. I am not on a diet. I am changing the way I view food.''
''Once again, I am using the energy of the new year to make goals, revamp the program, re-commit. I have written them down on my SparkPage and blog, and I have told people about them. I have accountability tools (daily Sparking, several team challenges and a nifty calendar complete with stickers). I started today, as it is Monday, and the start of my week, year and life!''
31 Days to Unbreakable Resolutions
7 Rewarding Resolutions to Make This Year
New Year's Resolution Survival Guide
Make Your Resolutions On Purpose this Year
Top 10 Tips to Unbreakable Resolutions
Which of these tips do you think will help you the most? What tips do you have for other members to stick with their goals all year long?
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