How to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions Going - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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Published on January 25, 2016

How to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions Going

Making a New Year’s resolution is the easy part. The hard part comes in the months ahead as you try to stick with it.

Now that you’re a few weeks into your resolutions, John Schesta, PhD, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare psychologist, offers these tips to help you stay focused and inspired:

  • Reward yourself. Remember to recognize the progress you've made by rewarding yourself for achieving short-term goals. Buy new workout clothes or go out to lunch with a friend as an incentive to stay motivated. Acknowledging your small achievements along the way plays an important part in reaching your final goal.
  • Get support from others. Advertising your New Year’s resolution allows others to understand and respect your goals. “Involve others in your success so you can receive support and encouragement by their positive reinforcements,” says Schesta. Or even better, find a friend or family member with similar goals so you can work toward together. The extra accountability and motivation will keep you on track.
  • Take time to reflect. Writing in a journal is an ideal chance to step back and get a fresh perspective and regain focus on what you want. Measuring and recording your improvements will help you see where you are and where you started. If you got off track since the beginning of January, now is the time to reflect on the challenges you faced and how you plan to address them in the future.
  • Be persistent. Your unhealthy habits probably took years to develop so remember that change does not happen overnight. “One small change leads to another, like a ripple or domino effect,” reminds Schesta. “Limitations are a place to start, not stop.”
  • Leave yourself notes. Everyday reminders can be the perfect way to keep you motivated. Place sticky notes around your home or work to remind yourself why you are making changes and what you have to gain. A simple note with positive thoughts goes a long way. 

Take it day by day. You likely will have an occasional setback and instead of giving up, simply start fresh the next day. Remember you're planning to change your life - it won't happen all at once. Stick to your healthy changes and the results will be worth it.

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How to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions Going