All change happens through small steps. That is especially true when it comes to changing your own life. The best way to make sure you will enact real change is to start small. New Year’s resolutions that are too big tend to overwhelm, and many people end up quitting because they think reaching their goal is impossible. Challenging yourself with smaller goals allows you to feel accomplished and more likely to stick with your resolution. Just because you start small does not mean you can’t also reach for a larger goal that is built upon your smaller ones. Your smaller goals can act as stepping stones to reach a larger goal by the end of the year.
Holding yourself accountable for your goals is one of the more difficult aspects of keeping a New Year’s resolution. There will always be a persuasive voice telling you can skip a day or take a short cut because no one will know. However, you will know. Change is slow and sometimes hard to notice when you are so close to what you are observing. It can be disheartening to not notice a significant change right away. A good way to keep a positive outlook is to keep a log of all the work you have been doing to track your progress throughout the year. Having actual evidence of your hard work can keep your spirits up and even make you challenge yourself more. Another great way to hold yourself accountable is to find a resolution buddy. You can work with a friend, or maybe someone else who is working on the same goal, to keep you on track. Having someone else to talk to and discuss your progress, and even setbacks can be a great motivator. Even just mentioning your goals to people in your life can also keep you accountable. When you know others have expectations, it can be a big kick in the rear to keep working toward your goals.
Choosing and maintaining a New Year’s resolution can be daunting and overwhelming. It will not always go to plan. Life is never easy and may throw some curveballs that can knock you off track, but you shouldn’t let that keep you from reaching your goal. Everyone has setbacks, but those who succeed don’t let their setbacks keep them down. Even if for every two steps forward, you take one step back, you will be moving in the right direction. Stay strong and don’t get discouraged. As long as you keep trying you can achieve your goals.