This Year I Resolve To…
At the close of the previous year and the start of the new, many of us review our routines and take note of our life goals. With great optimism, we set resolutions designed to align our goals with our routines. Keeping a positive attitude going throughout the year can be difficult.
Do you have some resolutions? Here are 5 tips on how you can keep them.
Describe your goals in relation to who you are.
The habit you want to incorporate should be an attribute of the person you are or want to be. (e.g. I am a healthy person, and a healthy person makes time for exercise each day) Each time you follow your resolution you are reaffirming your identity. It is easier to align with your identity than to use willpower.
Break your goal down into tiny steps.
Each step should be incredibly easy. (e.g. If your goal is to exercise more, the first step might be to put on gym shoes when you get home, and that’s it. Once you have established the habit of putting on the gym shoes, you can move to your next step, perhaps a short walk or a 5-minute exercise routine.) As your success builds you can take bigger steps. If you like technology, use it to set reminders of what you’re working towards and to track your progress.
Make it easy to achieve success.
Using the example above, you might place your gym shoes in a highly visible spot. As you notice your shoes, you are more likely to follow through with that step. You can also pair habits you already have with the habit you want to start. (e.g. I will only watch T.V. while walking on the treadmill.) Or try adding something you enjoy to the new habit. (I get to listen to the next chapter in my favorite book, while I walk.) You may even begin to look forward to your new habit.
Make it difficult to do things that undermine your progress.
Block habits that sabotage your goals by increasing the number of steps you have to take. (e.g. If you want to be active instead of watching T.V. you might store the remotes in a cabinet in another room.) By increasing the steps you have to take, you will have more opportunity to decide whether that activity is something you truly want to do.
Observe when you choose to go back to your old ways.
Those moments are opportunities to notice what happened and to plan for in the future. There are no failures. Change is a process. Celebrate all of it!
Hope these tips help you fulfill your aspirations!
Happy New Year!
Rebecca J Weaver is a Certified Autism Specialist at Independent with Autism, working to empower individuals with ASD. Need help setting achievable goals? Check out IndependentwithAutism.com for more information.