STONE: New Year, new you!

It’s time to put the year 2020 in our rearview mirror. A new year brings a fresh start, a re-boot if you will, to reflect on past transgressions and make wiser decisions ahead. One of the ways we do this is going through the perennial motions of making New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, these resolutions often fall flat by end of January…maybe stretching into February if we’re lucky. However, New Year’s resolutions don’t have to have such an abrupt and disappointing ending. Following a few simple tips can improve the likelihood of finally hitting those goals.
The most effective way to avoid failure is to have a game plan designed to address potential pitfalls that would otherwise compromise your success. Since goals take time, effort, and commitment to reach; it’s not reasonable to expect something monumental such as losing a significant amount of weight or quitting smoking to suddenly happen overnight. While we wish for quick results, pushing too many goals at one time can lead to a loss of focus. If its pounds you aim to drop, don’t focus necessarily on the exact amount of weight you want to lose. Instead, set goals more likely to be achieved…such as drinking water instead of soda, pick three days each week to increase physical activity, and stay away from fast food for a month. Taking small steps leads to positive lifestyle changes in the long term which is key.
Include a friend in your endeavors, preferably one that is a motivator rather than an enabler. A true friend will help you stay the course and vice versa. Sharing each other’s progress is a great way to recognize results and remind each other of the benefits you set out to achieve to begin with. No one wants to let a friend down, so use each other as a support system to keep on task. Simple strategies such as grocery shopping together, going for a run, taking a walk, or just revisiting why you set your goals are all examples of how friends can help maintain the intensity needed to see it through.
Schedule time to reach your goals. Whether your preferred reminders come from a computer, smartphone, or post-it notes; include them as part of each day. This effortless task will help carve necessary time in gaining momentum in fulfilling your success. As busy as we are, there still is time throughout the day to spend on your goals. If it’s important enough, you’ll find a way to take a care of it. But, it’s ultimately your responsibility to schedule it within the hustle and bustle of everyday activities.
Hitting your initial goals proves you can do it. The prize of seeing it through and the results that follow can be highly motivating to build upon additional success. Remember, modifying a lifestyle, that has been ingrained over years, takes time and repetitive acts to change. With this in mind, don’t forget to reward yourself. Celebrating victories large and small encourage us to press on. Rewards can come in different forms…be creative, but don’t give in to getting the chosen incentive until your goal is complete. Continue to set new goals and reward yourself each time to build upon the positive changes your making for your life.
Bottom line is to be realistic by keeping your resolutions simple, straight forward, and open to continued lifestyle improvements. The building blocks for continued success start with the initial small steps in allowing you to make the big changes you’ve always wanted to achieve. Here’s to 2021 finally being your year to make it happen. Have a blessed, prosperous, and especially healthy New Year!