Whether you chose to hit the gym more often, cut back on the sweets and red meats, or spend less time on the web and more time with your family, embracing the new patterns needed to make our resolutions a reality can be quite challenging. Shaking old habits is not the easiest thing to undertake, but a great deal of dedication and motivation can help you change your old ways in no time.
Read below to check out our 14 ways you can keep yourself motivated throughout 2014!
Make a Vision Board – Want to know the easiest way to help you stay motivated? Create a vision board so you can see your goals every day – literally! Grab a few old magazines and cut out your favorite photos, quotes, and anything else you’d like to include on your board. Anything that would embody your mission counts! Feel free to get as creative as you want as this is your personal project, and be sure to place it in a place you’ll see every day such as your bedroom or beside your bathroom mirror to keep your resolutions fresh in your mind year-round.
Team Up With a Friend – If a friend or family member is striving for a similar goal this year, you have the option of double-teaming on those goals together and giving each other added support. It’s easier to reach for the goal when you have someone to confide in and to help dissuade you from inevitable temptation. So call up your best friend or grab a relative to make a pact to dominate 2014 together!
Write About It – Keeping a daily journal is another way you can keep yourself motivated throughout the year. Use the journal to recap your accomplishments, track your progress, express your emotions and struggles, and focus on areas you’d want to improve. There’s no specific time you need to write in your journal. You can opt to do it over breakfast, mid-day, before you go to bed, or any other time! The point is that you just keep doing it.
Hold Yourself Accountable – Did you know that it takes 21 days to change your thoughts and develop a new habit? Those first 3 weeks might be the toughest part of your goal, but they are incredibly crucial. In that time frame, you must not let anything slide or become lazy with your goals, so make yourself accountable. Tell your best friend what you’re up to. Put a goal list on your fridge for everyone in your family to see. Shout it out loud on your Facebook page. Do whatever you need to hold yourself accountable and form new, positive habits!
Cheat a Bit – As much as you might not want to admit it, it’s unrealistic to shoot to go cold turkey and all of a sudden eat more healthily every single day or cut off social media all the time. The void will only make you want what you banished even more. Instead, give yourself a designated cheat day! Allow yourself a sweet treat once a week or a quick visit to the Facebook once in a while. You’ll feel a lot more at peace if you permit yourself to have just a little instead of not at all.
Work Your Willpower – Willpower isn’t just a steady, steely resolve fro you to accomplish what you set your sights to – it’s more like a muscle. Like muscles, the more you exercise your willpower, the stronger it gets and the easier it is to say no pretty quickly. But don’t expect to have a great amount of willpower overnight. As a muscle, pushing too hard or under conditions that are too challenging, and your resolve will collapse. Pick your battles wisely!
Have Some OJ – When you show a lot of self-restraint (like stifling your desire to disagree in a politically charged conversation, for example), you can reduce blood glucose levels to less-than-optimal. Luckily, a glass of orange juice or even fresh lemonade can help replenish your blood glucose levels! The brain relies almost exclusively on glucose for energy, so make sure it’s the real thing and not artificially sweetened drinks!
Take One Step at a Time – Taking on too much can diminish your willpower pretty quickly, especially since the changes you’re more than likely aiming to make are actually behavior changes. Take everything one step at a time and make changes slowly. You will soon be accustomed to the new changes and will be much more apt to hold onto your new, healthier habits!
Outsmart Your Rebel Side – Who likes to follow super-strict rules? No one! If you make 100% resolutions such as never having sweets again or never using your credit card ever, your rebel side will find a way to get around your rules. Instead, try using more limited restrictions such as “I’ll have sweets only once a week” so that you won’t feel depraved.
Break It Up – It might be hard to believe, but specific resolutions like losing 10 pounds might be harder to keep. Instead, make looser resolutions and break up your goals into smaller, more attainable chunks. For instance, turn your resolution into losing 10 pounds into aiming to get to the gym to work out at least 3 times this week or taking the stairs at work more often and bringing a healthy lunch with you every day. You’ll feel good when you accomplish each goal, and your success will help bolster your resolve.
Stay Positive – Whenever you feel discouraged or miss a few goals, remind yourself how much you’ve accomplished already or in the past. Resist the urge to beat yourself up over not losing weight or skipping out on your workout for the day – it will only make matters worse. Write down a few things you’re proud of, even if it’s making yourself get out of bed when you don’t want to, and remind yourself of how much willpower you really do have!
Use Your Senses – Our cravings are highly susceptible to visual cues (Don’t you get hungrier after seeing a fast food commercial?!). Draw on the strength of images by putting photos of a thinner you on the fridge or a picture of the place you’re saving up to visit in your wallet by your credit cards. These visual cues will remind you what you are striving for and will help you exercise your willpower even more.
Dodge Temptation Like a Pro – It’s important to know when your resistance is tapped out. Stress, fatigue, and hunger can wear down your resolve quickly. Whenever you feel tempted to eat a few cupcakes or spend a little more money spontaneously, get away from whatever is tempting you until you’ve eaten and rested. This strategy should give you the willpower to stick to your goals.
Enjoy the Journey – Setting resolutions each year and working hard to achieve them can be tough work. Remember to have fun with the process, even if you fall short or lose sight of your goals for a bit. After all, every day is a new chance to give your resolutions another try!
Is one of your resolutions to protect yourself, your family, and your home and car better throughout 2014 and beyond? We can help! Call us today at 1-800-766-MMIC, visit us online at www.madisonmutual.com, or stop by our office to see how we can help you reach that goal in no time!