Set Yourself Up for Success this New Year

As the new year approaches, many of us have begun making resolutions.  These goals can be anything from exercise, to healthy eating, to healthy habits, to getting organized, and so on.  As we prepare to tackle whatever it is we want to accomplish, let’s set ourselves up for success by using motivators that work!

Try one or more of the following 10 tips from our expert contributors when finding the motivation to see your New Year’s Resolution through.

We’ve all made New Year’s Resolutions before… and why not? The start of a new year is a perfect time to evaluate what you want to improve for the coming year! We’re big on self-improvement. There’s always something we can do better. Following through with the challenge of keeping your resolution can be tough though. What starts as a great idea is often cast aside or completely forgotten by the end of the month.

Whether you are trying to tone up or kick that bad habit with this year’s resolution choosing the right goal, planning and follow through are all crucial to your success. If you’ve decided that this is the year that you’re really going to stick to it and accomplish your goals we’ve put together ten simple tips that are sure to help you along the way.

1. Real Reasons, Real Results

Deciding what it is that you really want to change is half the battle. Take time to carefully consider what it is that you really want and make that your resolution. Don’t go with the first idea that pops into your head and make it your resolution as is. (i.e. what you want is to be happy with how your body looks but you make a resolution that is just a basic stab at it … lose 10 lbs. This might help, but it isn’t really the solution to the problem) General resolutions are harder to keep. If your resolution is “Eat Better” that’s okay, but you will need to make a lot of specific goals for yourself if you want to make it happen. Write down the real reasons for your goals and then write specific ways you can reach it for the best results.

2. Mission Possible

We’re not saying you can’t dream big, but if you pick a goal that is unattainable or unrealistic you are more likely to become discouraged and not gain any benefit at all. If you dare to be ambitious and your goal is a little bit of a long shot make sure you break it up into smaller goals so you are aware of your progress before you reach the destination.

3. Make a Plan!

Deciding you want to make a positive change in your life is a great thing and an important first step. If you leave it as just a decision though that’s all it will be, an idea of how things could be better. To make your resolution a reality, you need a plan. When we decided we wanted to really step it up and get into great shape we came up with our Fat Burning System. You need to create a plan that will help you achieve your goals too. What are you going to do everyday to make it happen? Break your end goal down into smaller, weekly goals so you always feel like your working towards something immediate. Make a calendar with something to do everyday that will get you closer to your desired result.

4. Do It Daily

Another major reason people don’t stick to their resolutions is that they don’t make them a priority. Having a plan is great (and necessary), but don’t let it get in the way of your overall success. For example, If you are trying to get in shape and your plan involves going to the gym everyday don’t lose site of your goal because you don’t have time one day to get there… take the stairs, do some yoga at lunch or lift some weights before bed. If you can’t do as much as you’d like towards your resolution on any given day don’t write the day off altogether. Something is always better than nothing and every little bit helps.

5. Stay Focused & Expect Temptation

Start off everyday by thinking about your resolution and what you are going to do that day to achieve it. What might come up during the day’s events that could get in the way? What will you do to avoid temptation? Except for the occasional unexpected event, you should be able to have a pretty clear idea of what the day has in store, what your schedule will be like and where you are likely to face challenges to sticking to your resolution. If you think about these challenges before hand and already have a plan worked out to avoid them you are much more likely to be successful… don’t get caught off guard :) End each day by thinking about the resolution and how you worked towards it. Where did you slip up and how can you do better?

6. Take Note

Knowing that you are getting closer to your goals is one of the best ways to stay motivated to achieve it. Start a journal the day you make your resolution. Write down your goal on the very first page and lay out your plan. Everyday make an entry. Start by restating the goal to focus your thoughts and remind you of what this is all for. Next write down any and all information about things that happened throughout the day that are relevant to your resolution. Don’t avoid writing down mistakes that you made. It’s just as important, if not more so to note the slip-ups so you are aware of them and can work on avoiding them. It’s also a good way to keep yourself in check… it’s easy to get discouraged when feel like you’ve been doing well but aren’t achieving the success you’d like to be. If you can look back at your week in writing and see that although you’ve made some progress there is still room for improvement it’s more likely that you’ll focus on the trouble spots and keep at it and less likely that you’ll feel your efforts have been in vain.

7. Get Social!

Sticking to a resolution can be hard enough… don’t put yourself through it alone. Whether it’s taking classes, joining a support group or just letting your family and friends know about your resolution and asking them to help you stay on track, having others to talk to about your challenges can be comforting and a huge influence on helping you stick it out. People can be more supportive than you’d ever imagine if you just let them know you could use some encouragement. Social networking sites make it easier than ever to connect with people too. Find an existing group that coincides with your resolution or start your own! Daily encouragement can be write in the palm of your hand.

8. Seek Motivation

Get inspired! Make a board full of inspirational words and phrases and put it somewhere you will see it everyday. Find quotes that are related to your resolution and read through them when you get discouraged. Find people or stories of people who have gone through the same challenge and succeeded. Books and movies can be inspirational too, even if they don’t directly relate to your challenge. Hearing about someone overcoming a large obstacle can make your resolution seem more manageable.

9. If you slip up don’t give up!

Many people don’t succeed at keeping their resolutions because they’re to quick to accept failure. If you fall off the path for a day… or the weekend don’t let it ruin your drive. Write it off and get back on target as soon as possible. Use the slip up as new motivation and try to figure out how it happened so you can avoid it next time.

10. Positive Rewards

One of the best ways to stay motivated is to reward yourself when you’ve made progress. Make sure your rewards don’t trigger a relapse though! If you’re trying to get in shape don’t congratulate yourself with a junk food binge. Instead, buy yourself a new dress to show off.

Whatever you want to make happen in your life this year remember… You CAN do it! With careful planning and consideration, daily action and a group of positive people to talk to and rely on when things get tough this can be your year to make a big change in your life.

One final tip… because we know you’ll succeed, once you have achieved your goal don’t stop! Make your change a permanent one so you can move on to something even more exciting next year!

Best of Luck, xoxo Karena & Katrina from ToneItUp.com

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