Monday, Dec. 7, 2015

RESOLUTIONS

How to stay committed to your goal

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How to stay committed to your goal

By definition, a resolution means to make a firm decision to do or not to do something.

Additionally, it can describe the action of solving a problem, dispute or contentious matter.

As the holidays begin to wind down, and a new calendar year approaches, the fresh start can signify many new beginnings of positive changes, healthier living or reaching new goals.

Making New Year’s resolutions has been an age-old tradition, just as neglecting or falling through on them has been as well.

The declaration of a resolution can sometimes be met with an eye roll and dismissive smile, perhaps predicting its inevitable back burner status come May.

To stick to a decision about making a positive change in your life come the start of a new year, it begins with a personal commitment.

In 2015, a Nielson survey found health and wellness, per usual, took the top spots for most chosen resolutions. Versions of losing weight or getting fit overwhelmingly took spots No. 1 and 2. Ranking as No. 3 was “enjoying life to the fullest.” Among the list was spending less money and budgeting, spending more time with friends and family, getting organized, starting a new hobby and travel more.

It could be suggested that these resolutions are frequent fliers on this list, and will surely be there to stay for coming years. Perhaps the changing tide will not be the resolution, but the means in which someone takes to get there.

Committing to a New Year’s resolution begins as any decision in life would – with an honest and positive mindset. Negative self-talk or self-defeating messages and behavior can throw any good intention off track.

Making a personal commitment means being honest and truthful with first and foremost, oneself. It can be helpful to start with a positive message and affirmation to oneself with encouraging words healthy thinking techniques.

One of those techniques is by examining the evidence. Do you have the resources, abilities or support to make good on this resolution? List positive qualities that are known to be true and any past successes that give evidence of a hopeful outcome.

This will help to increase selfesteem and selfworth, making way for more confident decision making abilities and more rational trains of thought.

When there are unchallenged negative patterns of thought, this can lead to selfdoubt and sabotage.

Remember the idea of a self-fulfilling prophecy – what one truly believes to be true, will be true.

Another helpful step in committing to change and resolution is by having clear and specific goals.

Whatever the resolution may be, it helps for it to be reachable, measurable and meaningful. If the resolution is extreme, try breaking it down into smaller and more manageable goals throughout the year. This way it allows to make a time frame and set a deadline for each smaller goal to make the end resolution more realistic and successful. Change can be overwhelming; but remember to one day and one bite at a time – be present in the moment!

If the resolution is to be happier or to enjoy life more, ask yourself what that looks like.

What would you be doing? Who would you be with? Where would you be? If the answer to those questions still is unclear, it can be helpful to reflect and process on what is blocking the enjoyment in life or limiting happiness.

A new year is a great time as any to partake in reflection and plan for the future.

After specific and manageable goals have been set, and priorities are in order, it is time for the hard part – accountability.

While having time frames and deadlines can be beneficial, it’s important to have that internal motivation and accountability to really see the resolution all the way through. What works for one may not work for another, so finding what is best for you is key.

If the resolution allows for work to be done every day, try timing it to be a part of the regular daily routine.

For others, maybe having another person is more helpful in accountability.

Whether it is a friend or family member, or even a counselor, being open and honest with another person allows for a new perspective.

In any form, always surround the conversations –whether with someone else or with oneself – in positivity.

Remain focused on the goals at hand and have both patience and confidence in the months that follow.

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