One Month In: Time to Check Up On Your Resolutions

ThinkstockPhotos-450795057If you’re like millions of people, as 2017 loomed, you felt compelled to plan some life changes in the coming year. Your New Year’s resolutions. It’s an annual ritual which typically consists of an ambitious goal following a year of discontent or excess, encouraged in part by peer pressure and tradition. So, now that we’re a month into the New Year, it’s time for a resolution check-up. Below are three categories that most people fall into. Read on to see which group you identify with.

You didn’t make any resolutions.

This is the category that I fall into. Not because there aren’t any aspects of my life that I’d like to change and improve. Far from it. Personally, I’ve found that making a life change based on the calendar just doesn’t work for me. When I decide to make a change, the motivation has to come from within, not from the calendar. I believe it’s always a good idea to seek ways to improve, not just at the end of the year. So after some reflection, I decided to put more thought into the gifts I give my wife. She’s really great at picking out presents for me. I, however typically fall somewhere on the other end of the spectrum. I manage to produce gifts for all the appropriate occasions, but rarely come up with an awesome idea that she hasn’t already suggested. So how will I turn around my dismal gift-giving ways? It’s going to take planning and a lot of consideration, paying attention to hints she periodically drops, making notes, and devoting the time and effort she deserves, to show her how much she means to me.

You made resolutions, but feel like you’re failing miserably. 

First, give yourself a break. Now take a step back and ask, “What’s holding me back?” Did you set your sights too high? Set an unrealistic timeline? Or are you just being too hard on yourself? Try to think of your quest for improvement as a marathon, not a sprint. You’re in it for the long run. Analyze the steps you’re taking toward your goal. Are they leading toward the results you desire? Big changes don’t happen overnight. Having a goal is admirable, but your chances for success will be much greater if you make a reasonable and attainable plan to reach your goal.

Suppose, for instance, that you’ve resolved to lose 10 pounds. Here it is, almost February, and you’re still hovering around the same weight as when you rang in the new year. Don’t beat yourself up. Sensible, sustainable weight loss takes time, most effectively achieved by lifestyle change rather than a crash diet, juice cleanse, or other quick-fix. Eating smarter and being more active are the keys. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have good, common sense advice for weight loss.

And remember, there’s nothing wrong with altering or revising your resolutions. What sounded like a great idea a month ago, may in fact turn out to be a bit over ambitious in reality. Altering the plan doesn’t make you a failure, it shows that you’re able to adapt to changing conditions. We change plans all the time, at work, at home, and socially. It’s part of reacting to the ebb and flow of life. Maybe you resolved to hit the gym every day, but can only manage to get there a few times a week. There are plenty of ways to get a workout at home, or even at work.

If you’re still dedicated to making a change, but struggling to make it a reality, don’t give up. Take a step back and look for different or additional ways to achieve your goal.

You made resolutions and are making progress    

If you fall into this category, you’re probably in the minority of resolution makers. Congratulations on sticking with your plan! Keep up the good work. Take a moment to celebrate and share your progress with others. It will give you the motivation to continue and may inspire someone to begin their own journey of self-improvement. If you feel there is still more you could do on your quest for personal growth, consider additional ways to change your life for the better. Check out this great list of 50 resolution ideas and how to achieve them.

No matter what path you take toward self-improvement, the rewards are worth the effort.

Remember, it’s never too late to start. It doesn’t matter whether you’re motivated by the time of year or by your personal timeline. Make a plan or revise your plan, stick to it, and work on making a better version of yourself in 2017.

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Why or why not? What tips and advice do you have?

Share with us in the comments section below.

Article author David Harper is a video script and content writer at Express Employment Professionals.

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