Making a resolution to change your bad habits is easy. Sticking to your new goals is much harder, whether it be related to smoking, weight loss. Read on for some tried and true techniques for keeping new habits in place for the long term.
1. Find your inspiration
The first step to setting a new goal is to understand exactly WHY you want to change your life. Do you want to avoid certain past mistakes, or be a healthier person? How would like yourself or your life to look in five months or a year from now? Change is hard and you need to be clear about why you want it, otherwise you could easily lose interest. Be sure that changes are coming from a desire within yourself, and not in order to please your family, spouse or peers. The most successful life changes are the ones that YOU truly believe in.
2. Step by step
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and any weight loss program that promises a new body within a week is most likely a hoax. Be ready for a slow and steady change, which is by far the most healthy way to make big changes and keep them in place. While it’s not so easy to make a significant change, like weight loss, it’s even harder to keep those changes in place for the long haul.
The best way to rid yourself of bad habits, like smoking or drinking, is to surround yourself with a support group – people who not only don’t partake of the bad habits you’re seeking to quit, but also support you in your pursuit. If you’re trying to cut down on snacking, you could ask your friends to book a healthier restaurant for your next get-together, rather than the usual pizza joint. Don’t be afraid to ask people for help and advice. If these people don’t exist around you, you could think about hiring a professional coach, trainer or counselor.
4. Write it down
Many people find that recording accomplishments on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis helps motivate them and keep them focused. You could even set up a rewards system by which, after every goal reached, you get a treat.
5. No jumping ship
If you make a mistake and falter from your new path, don’t give up completely. A mistake is really just a learning opportunity. You’re human. One lapse is not a reason to abandon a long-term plan – it’s just another challenge.