It’s that time of year: time to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. I like the idea of a fresh start for the New Year.
But I don’t always stick with my resolutions. I think that’s because I try to make them too big and too broad. Know what I mean? Get in shape. Eat better. Exercise more. They’re kind of nebulous and easy to forget.
According to USA.gov, the most popular New Year’s resolutions include:
- Losing weight/exercising more/getting into shape
- Eating better/eating right
- Managing debt/saving money
- Quitting smoking
- Reducing stress
- Getting a better job
- Getting a better education
What’s on your resolution list? More exercise is definitely in my plans. I know, I say that every year. But this year I have a plan to stick with it.
A few years ago, I did the Weight Watchers program. One of the things that really worked for me was the idea of setting (and celebrating) smaller goals on the way to your big goal. For example, the first goal I set was to lose just ten percent of my starting weight. Regardless of my eventual goal, I had a shorter, easier goal to shoot for.
This year, I’m going to apply the same philosophy to my New Year’s resolutions. I’m going to make smaller plans that add up to the big, overall plan for life improvement. I’m going to reward and celebrate my successes along the way.
Do rewards work for you? They sure work for me. At Weight Watchers, we got a ribbon for our first five pounds lost, a star for every five pounds lost after that, and other prizes at other milestones — like that ten percent goal. They weren’t huge prizes, but they were tangible reminders of our progress and success. I’m going to figure out some rewards to go with my New Year’s resolutions to help me stick to them.