13 Ways to Make (and Keep) a New Years Resolution

Published - January 6, 2019

New Year, New You, Start Now!

Here at CBD, many students are beginning a new school year in line with the start of 2019.  With a full team of staff and faculty behind them, what better time to make a resolution- and keep it too?!  Start goals with plans and follow through, otherwise they’re just wishes.  Follow these tips and tricks, and don’t ditch your resolution this year.

13 Ways to Make (and Keep) a Resolution

1. Start Right Now!

January isn’t exactly the warmest or brightest month, but resolutions don’t have to wait until the New Year.  Anytime is a good time to start fresh!  Don’t hesitate for the most opportune moment to begin.  When your body and mind are in better shape, so is your will power. Use that momentum to start your resolution and keep a promise to yourself.New year resolutions

2. Make One Change At a Time

Most resolutions require behavioral changes.  However, just as unhealthy behaviors take time to stick, so does replacing or reverting the unhealthy behavior.  Our will power only has enough capacity for one change, not several at one time.  So focus on a change you actually want to make for yourself, not something you think you should want or what someone else wants for you. This will help you to not overwhelm yourself!  Your goals should challenge you, but you can’t do it all, and that’s okay!  Concentrate on all those little subcategories so you can give it your all.

3. Break It Down

Set a S.M.A.R.T. goal: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely.  Set a time frame for an objective that relates to your personal goals (eg: By the end of June, I want to interview for Cedar- Sinai in their Body Department).  Remember that sometimes a year is not enough, so assess that early on.  Get SUPER specific and clearly define your goals (eg: Practice scanning for an hour every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 5:30PM, and volunteer at Cedar every Friday).  You should be able to track your progress (eg: Measure the amount of successful scans, diagnoses, and accurate reports). and watch them grow!) Follow this link for a template!  Think small acts of will, not weeks of strain, to achieve an attainable, relevant goal.  Once you meet those small changes, the easier it will be for you to keep going.  Most importantly, be patient.

4. Flex That Muscle

Will power is a muscle, so the more you use it the stronger it gets.  Think about it like leg day.  Keep consistency for two weeks and you’ll see more progress as opposed to taking on tasks that don’t call for self-control.  However, if you push too hard or push yourself under challenging circumstances (ie. Surrounding yourself with stressors and cupcakes, see tip #12), you’re more likely to collapse under the weight of a dumbbell or cave for that sweet treat.  When times get tough, focus hard on the process rather than the end goal.

5. Pencil It In

Schedule it! “That which is scheduled gets done.” Make time.  So many make the excuse of “I don’t have time.”  That’s simply not true.  The time is there if you set it aside.  Even if all you have time for is 30 minutes, assess that in your SMART goal.  When someone says to you “Oh, I want to schedule a meeting for this day at this time,” you have the power to say “No, I’m sorry, I can’t.  I have something important scheduled I have to do at that time.”

6. Get Your Friends and Family Involved

Tell people about your goal.  Publicize your goal to friends, family, on Facebook, or make a Snapchat story!  Social support is critical.  It takes courage and vulnerability to tell others your dreams, and your friends will hold you accountable.

7. Avoid the All or Nothing

Turn your negative punishments into positive reinforcements and get happy! Watch a funny movie or do something that puts you in a good mood.  That little will power muscle will thank you for it.  If you’re trying to watch what you eat, change your mentality from taking a cheat day to making a treat day.  Turn those negative punishments into positive reinforcement.  Outwit that inner rebel by creating a reward for yourself rather than strict rules with loopholes.  Ultimately it’s better to do something than nothing.

8. Have Some Orange Juice

Practicing self-restraint, self-discipline, and will power reduces glucose levels in the brain.  Put some real- not from concentrate- OJ or lemonade in that body!  It replenishes those glucose levels, making you more ready to take on the challenge.

9. It’s the Little Things

Remember the small victories, and don’t let minor slips be an excuse to quit altogether.  Make a list of 50 or 100 things you’re proud of -even if it’s just getting out of bed on a day when you’d rather not- to remind you how much will power you really have and remind yourself of your successes.  Don’t beat yourself up. Get back on the horse. Forgive yourself.

10.“Nice Shoes”

Hold a door open for 10 people a day.  Genuinely comment on someone’s outfit or hair five times a day.  Volunteer at a shelter once a week.  Keep it consistent and watch your feeling of personal power increase as you make someone’s day.  Release your tendency to blame your circumstances or others for not following through on your resolutions.

11.Write It DownNew year Goals

We humans are highly susceptible to visual cues.  Put your goal in a calendar, set a reminder on your phone, or make it your computer screensaver. Write it somewhere you can see it every day.  It can even be in multiple places.  It will remind you of when you first made that goal and will recapture the intensity of willing to attain it.

12. Recognize Your Own Self –Defeating Behaviors

Create an environment that will help you achieve your goals, and get away from whatever temptation is there until you’ve eaten and are rested.  Stress will wear you down, but you don’t have to let it.  Practice self-care

13.Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Professional Help

Come to the Student Resource Center and get information about counseling or talk out your goals with our Student Resources, Job Placement, and Career Services team.  Make an appointment with the 24 Hour Fitness Center on our first floor or visit your local gym for a membership

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