By Joseph Ellick
In high school, one of my greatest passions was playing basketball. During my senior year, as the new season approached, I noticed during the first practice that our coach had the same plays that we had been using in previous seasons. So I told him “coach I think we should try different plays because it’s a new season. He responded with a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that I remember still today that says “With each new day comes new strength and thoughts,”– so there is no need to change because of our growth each day and year we automatically see things different even if they are the same as before.”
Every New Year, people tend to reevaluate their past year and come to the conclusion to reinvent themselves completely and that makes it difficult to not only set realistic resolutions and goals but makes it even harder to keep them. Don’t set yourself up for failure this year by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep. Instead, follow these steps for successfully making a new year’s resolution and goals you can see through until the end.
One At A Time
An abundant amount of people’s resolutions are to change their entire lifestyle or life at once. It will never work. Instead ask yourself, what is the one habit or goal that is most important to you? After you identify your top resolution, continue to list in order of importance then attack them one at a time. Make each goal something concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change, you can go ahead and make another change, as time permits itself. By making small changes one at a time, you still have the chance to be a whole new you at the end of the year and it’s a much more realistic way of doing it.
Generalizing or being vague about what you want to do leaves room for procrastination and confusion at times. You have to be precise in your action to properly plan and map out your strategy for the New Year. If you want to lose weight, target a precise number of pounds to shed, then set concrete mini-goals and the dates on which you aim to accomplish each of them. Want to save money? Determine the amount you will put aside each month and identify explicit changes in behavior you’ll make to get there, whether that means skipping your afternoon latte or carpooling to work to save on fuel costs. Want to be more organized? Single out what area you would like to be more organized, whether its home, job, or extracurricular hobbies.
Be Mentally Tough
Be mentally tough. Not every day is going to be easy, the second you wake up the battle begins against your old habits. Knowing this ahead of time will prepare you for when you are tempted to break your resolution. Have the power to keep moving towards your goal, no matter what setbacks may occur. There is a saying that states “When the going gets tough, get tougher,” and that is exactly what you have to do.
Switch Your “Bad” Habits to “Good” Habits
Don’t rely on willpower alone to help you change, because even the strongest person you know have their days. Instead, build in a healthy behavior that’s incompatible with the one you want to change. So if eating your usual mid-afternoon treat runs contrary to your goal of dropping a few pounds, put together a small like-minded group and commit to taking a quick, brisk walk at your normal snack time. Or if you want to dedicate more time to write that book you’ve been wanting to start for years during the normal time you watch television, take out your notebook and jot down ideas. Eventually you will turn the T.V. off completely and have that novel half way done. Each time you put the brakes on “bad” behavior, you’ll increase your confidence in your ability to make the change.
Be Determined Not To Fail.
No one but you can make your resolution come true or last in your favor. Choose not to let mistakes derail you, take a day off every once in a while, power through the tough times, and drive toward your end result. Already having a winning mindset goes a long way. When you make the decision to succeed, you leave no room to fail.
Keeping track of a resolution all year long can be difficult, but only if you let it. Over the years you may have already made drastic changes in life that could help cultivate your goals for 2019. The important thing is to remember that successfully changing your behavior comes from the inside out. Accept that it will take small steps in the right direction to reach a positive outcome.
Joseph Ellick Jr (@JLife_22) a Florida Memorial University graduate is the Newsroom Editor and National News Correspondent for the nation’s Number 1 African American PR/Media Firm Black PR Wire (@BlackPRWire). He is also the host and producer of BPRW’s Youtube series Thrivin’ Online.