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Making Your New Year’s Resolution Stick

Hi SL Fabz,

It’s already one week into the new year!

How have you been faring with your goals and new year resolutions? Great I hope.

It is important to remember that the New Year isn’t meant to serve as a catalyst for sweeping character changes. It is a time for people to reflect on their past year’s behavior and promise to make positive lifestyle changes.

This year, stop the cycle of resolving to make change and then not following through.

Yes, I’ve been there before. I’ve resolved to do things at the beginning of the year and ended up forgetting about it some weeks later. However, here are some tried and tested ways I’ve used to make my new year resolutions stick.

1. Start Small
Make resolutions that you think you can keep. If, for example, your aim is to exercise more frequently, schedule three or four days a week at the gym instead of seven. If you would like to eat healthier, try replacing dessert with something else you enjoy, like fruit or yogurt, instead of seeing your diet as a form of punishment.

2. Talk About It
Don’t keep your resolution a secret. Tell friends and family members who will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the better or improve your health. The best-case scenario is to find a buddy who shares your New Year’s resolution and motivate each other.

3. Track Your Progress
Keep track of each small success. Short-term goals are easier to keep, and each small accomplishment will help keep you motivated. Instead of focusing on losing so much weight at a time, focus on losing it bit by bit. Keep a journal to help you stay on track, regardless of what your goal is.

4. Ask For It
Want more money? Ask for the raise. Want a different job title? Tell your boss. People are too busy and too focused on themselves to think of your goals and your needs. So rather than waiting for someone to shine the light on you, do it for them. The old adage, “ask and you shall receive” works most of the time.

5. Make It visual, Get Creative
Write down your goal on paper or, even better, make a “resolution binder” where you put down your ideas. Elaborate the end result with paper cuttings, drawings and write-ups. Jot down your favourite motivational quotes along with your personal reasons for doing this. Make it graphic and compelling enough. Make sure to paint a very clear picture of what it would be like to have what you’re working towards.

Robin Sharma has a formula for this:

Focus + Time = Mastery.

“What you concentrate on, you cannot help but get great at. The more you focus, the better you get,” he says.

So, SL Fabz, what is your ultimate goal for this year?

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