After the ball has dropped and the party's over, it’s time to face the reality of making, and keeping, your New Year’s Resolution. Setting a resolution is the easy part, but sticking to it can be much harder. No matter what you want to change in your life, like resolving your debt, losing weight or quitting smoking, here’s how you can make it happen.
Why Make a Resolution Only To Break It?
The problem is, 9 out of 10 people won’t keep their resolution, and eight out of 10 won’t make it to February. Those are pretty lousy odds for anyone setting a goal and trying to achieve it. So here are 5 ways you can improve your chances of actually getting to December 2019 with a sense of accomplishment.
5 Ways To Keep You New Year’s Resolution
- Call it a goal, not a resolution. It’s the same thing after all, just using a different name. Writing down a goal is an important step to achieving it, so put it on paper and tape it to something you’ll see every day. Make it a SMART goal — specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Know what you want to achieve (specific), and how you’ll know if you are getting anywhere (measurable). Make sure it’s something that can actually be achieved (achievable), and you are capable of achieving it (realistic). Finally, setting a time frame is easy. For example, make it your goal to get it done by next New Year’s! The more detail, the better.
- Make yourself accountable — to you. There’s no point setting a goal you aren’t really interested in achieving. Want to stop smoking, lose weight or get out of debt? Make sure you really want to do what you set out to do. Find out if you are really serious about your goal by asking yourself one simple question: Will I be able to look myself in the mirror if I cheat? There is nothing worse than letting yourself down or being disappointed in yourself. You can make excuses to others, but it doesn’t work on yourself.
- Tell someone else about your goal. It makes getting started much easier, and it gives you someone to talk to when things get a little discouraging. For example, if the other person knows you want to lose weight, they won’t come over with a bag of fries and a bucket of ice cream. Plus, they’ll keep asking you about your goal and what you've done to reach it, which means more accountability.
- Don’t make the goal too big. Start small and build up to greater things. For example, cut back to ½ a pack a day instead of quitting smoking all at once and going cold turkey; instead of saying you're going to lose 20 lbs, make it your goal to go for a walk three or four times a week; save money by making coffee at home instead of buying it. Do something easy so you’ll have success upfront and feel pride, rather than failure and disappointment because you set the bar too high. The more you succeed, the more you’ll want to keep going, and make the next goal bigger.
- Celebrate your success, even the small ones. It’s difficult to completely drop a habit all at once. If something goes well, reward yourself. It doesn’t have to be big, perhaps a treat or a special outing with a friend. It can be as small as telling the person in the mirror they’ve done a good job. Remember, success breeds success.
If You Need Help Resolving Your Debt or With Other Personal Goals, There’s No Harm In Asking For It
No matter what your resolution… err, goal is, if you aren’t sure how you can achieve it, the first thing you can do is learn more about it, and ask for help if you need it. If your goal is resolving your debt or even just sorting out your finances, there is a wealth of resources on our website where you can get more information, and we are here to help as well. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a hand, especially if it will help you achieve your goal. Give us a call at 1.800.267.2272 and we can set you up with a free counselling session with one of our certified credit counsellors.