The sad truth: By June, only 40% of people have stuck with their New Year resolutions. Studies show that by midyear, less than half had kept their January promises. Busy moms get hit the hardest – with the kids back at school and their extracurricular activities starting up, there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. With the right attitude and approach, you can improve your own odds and make 2016 your greatest year yet!
Reward yourself along the way.
Rewards, however, small they may seem, can motivate you. They remind you the progress you have made and make things more fun.
For short-term goals, rewards should be simple, like taking time out for yourself. Watch your favorite movie, enjoy a massage or a manicure, or buy a new pair of shoes. For reaching bigger goals, give yourself larger rewards such as a nice piece of jewelry or a vacation you have been wanting to take.
Defeat one bad habit at a time.
It can be very difficult to change too many things at once, especially when you’re juggling so much responsibility. It can be easy to turn to unhealthy options. Just as it takes time to form bad habits, it also takes time to replace them with good ones. Conquer one habit, and then move on to the next.
Make your goals positive, not negative.
For example, instead of saying that you want to stop procrastinating, say you want to plan your work ahead of time. When goals are created in a positive way you are more likely to succeed. When setting your goals, use terms that focus on a good behavior you want to build. It’s often easier to build a new habit than to quit a bad one.
Shout it from a mountaintop!
Make a public declaration about your goals, don’t go at it alone. Find another mom who has similar goals to help support each other. Look for support groups or classes. Tell your family or friends about your goals. Even get the kids to join in! Having support can help keep you on track. Sharing your challenges and successes makes the work easier and exciting.
Be forgiving of mistakes.
Forgive yourself for your mistakes. Everyone has slipped when trying to build a healthy new habit. The small lapses are just part of the process, it does not mean you have failed. Dust yourself off, rise up and continue on. Use it as an opportunity to learn your triggers for slipping up. For example, if you’re trying to quit smoking, maybe you are not ready to handle being around friends who do.
Give yourself time.
It takes a different length of time for everyone to make a habit, and research shows for some it is within 21 days. However, for some people, it is not so simple and can take 2 months or more. Don’t get down on yourself if the habitual changes aren’t happening as fast as you expected, it does not mean it won’t get there. Give your brain time to make your new habit second nature.
Make your goals reasonable.
When your goals are too large to accomplish soon you can become frustrated and want to give up. Break them down into several smaller, easier steps. For example, if your goal is to lose a pound a week, replace your dessert with a delicious cup of fruit. Keep track of these choices and these steps you are taking. People who do are more likely to succeed.