Turning those resolutions into lasting changes!

So yesterday I asked you about your New Years resolutions or goals for 2013, are they the same ones you made last year? (I know some of mine were).  But this year will be different, right?  Well it can be, if you choose it to be.  Making change in your life is hard, but it can be done.  So lets look at 2013 as the year where our resolutions last longer than January 31.  Let’s make those small steps to turn those resolutions into lasting changes, so that next year, we can set some new resolutions!

So how do we turn resolutions into lasting changes?  With some simple guidelines and good motivation, you will be seeing the small changes you make in your every day life starting to add up to bigger things by the end of January.  Here’s some of the guidelines I follow to make my goals become reality.

Focus on one change at a time

Now if you’re anything like me, you’ve set yourself a number of goals to achieve for 2013.  Maybe, you want to lose some weight, be more focussed on your homework and start writing a daily journal.  Many of us are so eager to get started with doing our resolutions that we start them all at once and end up failing at all of them.

The key to making lasting changes to your daily habits is to implement one new thing at a time.  Start with the one that is most important to you, this will ensure that you have the most motivation to succeed at it.  By making one change at a time you give yourself time to get used to having a new habit in your daily routine.  Continue to focus on the one change for a month or so, then add another small change to your routine.  Repeat this process.  Now you may be feeling like that is going to take too long to make the changes that you want, but if you think about it, you will have the opportunity to make 12 new habits in your life.  I’m sure you’ve heard the saying it takes 21 days to form a new habit.  Stick to this and you will find you will be well on the way to achieving your goals for 2013.

How do you eat an Elephant?

In small bites.  The same thing applies when it comes to making lasting changes.  Break your goals down into small manageable tasks that you need to complete so that you don’t begin to feel overwhelmed.  Having smaller tasks to complete will help stop the procrastination setting in.

Maybe one of your goals was to start exercising more.  Now you could go out and start exercising 5 days a week, but this may not last long.  If you start by finding 20 minutes every 2nd day to go for a walk or a jog, then slowly build this up to a little bit longer duration and then when you are comfortable with that add in the extra days you will find that you are more likely to be successful.

Use visual reminders

We all lead busy lives so it’s very easy to forget about the goals we have set ourselves.  Having visual reminders around your room can help to keep you on track and keep your goals in the forefront of your mind.  These don’t just have to be words or lists, I really like to use pictures or quotes.  You could use a picture of something that represents your goal or some inspiring quotes that might help you to stay motivated and on track.

Get your College Friends to help out

Staying accountable is one of the hardest things to do on your own.  So get your friends involved, I’m sure they have their own goals and resolutions that they are trying to achieve as well.  Just by telling someone else that you are going to do something helps to make your more accountable.   There is also many Facebook groups and forums that you can join where people will become your accountability buddy.  You will find it much easier to stay on track if you know you have to report back your progress to someone else and that you’ve got someone on your side keeping you motivated.

Don’t be too hard on yourself!

We are all our worst critics.  Don’t beat yourself up when you things don’t go to plan, we are all busy and sometimes it just doesn’t work out.  The best thing you can do when things go off track is to pick yourself up and jump back on again.  By giving it another go you are learning from your mistakes and you will get to your end goal with persistence.

Now that we’ve given you some great tips on how to make your resolutions into lasting habits, get out there and do it!  2013 is your year, go get it!