Every year, after New Year’s champagne and the laughter of friends have faded, we pull out our list of resolutions and determine the best ways to achieve our new goals. Early January is full of stocking up on rubber gloves and breaking out storage boxes, lacing up our sneakers and trudging toward the gym, and eating the leftover holiday treats so we can start fresh next week. Almost 50% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but only 8% of people keep them through the end of January. So what gets in our way? Hectic schedules, culinary temptations, and, well, life. If you’re ready to achieve your goals in 2014, here are 3 tips to make your resolutions stick.
- Choose manageable goals. It’s easy to jog every morning and eat nothing but veggies when the thrill of 2014 is fresh in the air. But if you’re seeking self-improvement, the road to success is paved with lifestyle changes. Make your resolution something achievable and specific. Instead of swearing to “exercise more,” make a goal to hike through the Nantahala forest once a week. You’ll see better results—and have more fun in the process.
- Choose goals that matter. It doesn’t matter if you’ve sworn to stop eating chocolate or to cleanse the environment one recycle bin at a time; no one’s going to make an effort for results they aren’t committed to. Make New Year’s resolutions that matter to you, whether it’s learning more about the Lake Nantahala flora and fauna, getting to know your Reflection neighbors, or simply to smile more often.
- Every bit counts. It’s easy to get discouraged when the mountains of junk you haven’t found time to organize are obscuring the view outside your window. Whether you’re renovating your Nantahala cabin or learning a life skill, plan step-by-step goals to keep you on track. If you fall off the wagon, take a minute to reassess where you went wrong and keep going.
Still worried about keeping your resolutions? Make a pact with one of your neighbors in the Reflection community and keep each other on track.