This isn’t a post about making resolutions, it’s about keeping them… #PersonalDevelopment

In December, you’re attending more parties than usual, traveling hundreds, if not thousands, of miles to visit family, shopping like crazy, and fighting with siblings about stuff you (almost) forgot about years ago. It’s the worst time to commit to eliminating bad habits. With so much going on, who has the time—or discipline—to think through new routines that could help you grow emotionally, socially, physically, or intellectually.?

But if you start fresh in February, you’ll find that resolutions are much easier to make and keep just a month or so into the new year. Though it’s still wintry out, we’re all getting ready to welcome spring and what it brings: new beginnings.

Ultimately, it all boils down to willpower… And here in Memphis, we say “yes, you can.” You can stop procrastinating, save for retirement, lose those last 10 pounds, stick to an exercise routine, and avoid various vices such as alcohol and cigarettes. You can still celebrate December like it’s 1999 and spend January letting your willpower recuperate. So instead of sticking to the old tradition of failed resolutions, start a new one to commit to making yourself stronger, healthier, better.

New year resolutions can work. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, researchers found that those who set New Year’s resolutions are 10 times more likely to actually change their behavior than people who don’t make these yearly goals.

Here are 6 tips to get you started and stay on track:

  1. Choose a Specific, Realistic Goal: Choosing a concrete, achievable goal also allows you to plan exactly how you are going to accomplish your goal over the course of the year.
  2. Focus on One Goal a Month: Taking on too much all at once can be daunting. It can be particularly difficult too because establishing new behavioral patterns takes time. Focusing your efforts on one specific goal makes keeping a resolution much more achievable. By sticking to one realistic resolution a month, you’ll feel SO much more accomplished and more inclined to create even better resolutions moving forward. Want to run a 10k by end of year? Break it down into small steps – let’s start with a run every Saturday morning and work up from there! 
  3. Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute: Planning is an essential part of achieving any goal. Experts suggest that you should spend some time thinking about how you will tackle a major behavior change.
  4. Start with Small Steps: While it may seem like a slow start, these small changes make it easier to stick to your new habits and increase the likelihood of long-term success! Turning down one extra drink, or switching out a heavy lunch for a lighter option are all small steps in the right direction! 
  5. Get Support from Your Friends and Family: Explain what your goals are to your close friends or family and ask to hold you accountable and cheer you on! Better yet, enlist the help of others by joining a local Memphian group that shares your goal.
  6. Don’t Let Small Stumbles Bring You Down: Encountering a setback is one of the most common reasons why people give up on their New Year’s Resolutions. If you suddenly relapse into a bad habit, don’t view it as a failure. By understanding the challenges you face, you will be better prepared to deal with them in the future.

Not sure where to start? Get a kick start on healthy living with these upcoming events! 

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