Okay, you’ve made your 2014 resolutions. You did a lot of soul-searching and came up with a list that is meaningful, empowering, and doable. But how to keep your commitment from waivering? That’s the tough part, which is why the same resolutions wind up on your list every January 1st. This year, try following the steps below to exponentially ramp up your odds of success.
1) Pair down your list to something manageable. Limit the roster to your most important and immediate objectives based on what you most need to change for personal, social, and professional satisfaction.
2) Broadcast your resolutions to make them official. In other words, tell the world – at parties, via Facebook, and don’t forget Twitter. While you’re at it, urge friends and family to be supportive by giving you a loving slap on the hand when you skip the gym, sneak a cigarette, or reach for an éclair.
3) Join a gym. Yes, you can buy all the workout equipment under the sun, but there’s nothing like paying a monthly fee and sweating with others to provide the incentive necessary to stick to your exercise regimen.
4) Buddy up. Find a like-minded partner to join you in your self-improvement journey. You’re a lot more likely to show up for Zumba if you’ve promised to meet someone there. And if you share your daily successes and failures, you’ll help keep each other pointed in the right direction.
5) Create a plan and checklist. This will give structure to your path to success. Schedule your workout times, class times, volunteer times, play times with the kids, and catching-up times with our parents. Then make a checklist to keep track of how often you stay the course.
6) Don’t beat yourself up for falling off the wagon. True, you joined friends for happy hour instead of jogging after work. Or perhaps you splurged on another pair of shoes when you swore to pay off your credit card balance. DO NOT OBSESS ABOUT THE DAY’S MISSTEPS. Tomorrow you’ll have another chance, so recognize today’s failures and use them as incentive to make up for lost ground tomorrow.
7) Internalize your goals. See yourself in a size 8 looking slim and sexy. Picture your lifestyle when you earn the college degree that will open the door to greater opportunity. It’s okay to fantasize if you channel that energy into turning success fantasies into reality.
8) Finally, create a reward system. When you see real progress at the end of the week, reward yourself with something that isn’t self-defeating, such as a movie, manicure, or candlelit bath.