Another year has escaped us, and it’s time to tie up loose ends and start fresh (again). When you think about your New Year’s Resolutions for 2019, consider making them realistic and achievable this time. Here are 5 ways to make those New Year’s Resolutions stick.
5 Ways to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions
01. Limit Your Options (and Expectations)
New Year’s Resolutions tend to stem from your desire to change for the better, whether in your career, health, personal relationships, finances, or another area of life. Change is all about making choices. But are you happier when you have more options?
According to TED Talk speaker and psychologist Barry Schwartz – author of The Paradox of Choice – the answer is no. While having the freedom to choose is better than not having that freedom, having too many options actually makes it harder for you to make a decision. “Choice within constraint is essential,” he says. “Choice without constraint is paralyzing.”
When it comes to making a decision, having fewer options is key. To weigh your options, write down a list of pros and cons to see how each option fares to the other(s). Remember, Schwartz says, “the secret to happiness is to have realistic expectations. Err on the low side. It’s really nice to be pleasantly surprised. It sucks to be disappointed.”
So, for example, instead of promising yourself you’ll lose 30 lbs by swimsuit season, stick to a healthy and realistic goal like losing 1-2 lbs per week by exercising 30 minutes a day and eating nutritious foods. That way, you avoid another fad diet and instead opt to live a healthier lifestyle that will help you keep off any extra pounds you lose long after New Year’s has passed.
According to the American Psychological Association, it’s easier to set small, attainable goals and work toward them one step at a time than to have sweeping goals that can overwhelm or frustrate you after a short while, which may lead you to quit your goals entirely.
02. Get Your House In Order
For your career or personal life to fall into place, you have to also have peace and calm in your home. Start by cleaning your house and getting rid of anything you haven’t used in over a year or that doesn’t make you happy. The act of purging your living space will feel instantly rewarding and inspire you to also purge the other toxic things in your life. Think of it as the prequel to spring cleaning.
You may also want to cleanse your house with sage and be sure to open the windows to let in some fresh air, even if it’s just for 20 minutes. Don’t forget to change your HVAC air filter too!
For people with some OCD tendencies (like me), go a step further and reorganize the rooms where you spend the most time. In the bedroom, go through your closet and clear out any old clothes you don’t wear anymore. In the bathroom, clear out any old beauty products and wipe down the counters and floors. In the entertainment room, tuck away any movies or games into storage boxes you can easily get to but that make the room look neat and tidy. In the kitchen, get your spice rack in order, as well as your loose pots and pans. Then donate any unwanted items to a local Goodwill or thrift store.
03. Get Fresh Air
Just like cleaning your home will help you feel recharged in the New Year, getting your blood flowing with some outdoor exercise will help to. Start by walking around your neighborhood or through the local nature preserve. If it’s too cold outside, walk inside the mall. (Though, it’s better to get fresh air outside.) Getting moving will pump you up to feel motivated to work on your other New Year’s Resolutions too.
04. Keep Things Simple
Simplify your life so you can make time for your New Year’s Resolutions and have the best chance at success. If too many distractions are killing your creativity, learn how to say no. Your time is valuable, and you have the right to make some quality time for yourself every day – even if it’s just for something simple like reading a book or taking a relaxing bath.
05. Make a List (and Check It Twice)
Commit to your New Year’s Resolutions by writing them down. Make it special! Use a fancy stationery, or a calligraphy pen. Or try a lightbox, a Lite-Brite, or a cute crafty chalkboard. Frame your Resolutions and hang them up or post them on your fridge as a friendly daily reminder.
Do you need some inspiration to create your own New Year’s Resolutions? Try these easy good-for-you goals.
As for my New Year’s Resolutions, here they are…. Read more books for fun. Take more nature walks. Snuggle more with my furbabies. Write more blogs and poetry. Welcome more music into my life. Embrace more love and happiness. And above all else, practice more self-love and healing.
Good luck, and welcome to 2019!
Photos from Unsplash