Each of us meets a new year in our own way; but some, like this young boy, want to wish everyone happiness. Toronto Star Archives 24 December 1975.
It’s that time of year, “New Year, New Me!” Whether you want to try to quit smoking, or exercise more, or learn to save money, Toronto Public Library has your back. Now as someone who is a classic resolution maker (then breaker), this is usually how my year unfolds:
January: I am eager and focused on my resolution/goal!
February: I start to loose motivation and have a cheat day here and there.
March: comes “in like a lion, and out like a lamb,” aka I'm doing very little to work towards my new goal by the end of the month.
April: I think
So why is 2017 going to be different? How do we make a lasting change you ask? I have researched a number of New Year's Resolution, self-help and motivation articles, including past TPL blogs on the subject found here, here and here, in an attempt to find the right tips to share with you. Basically I've gone ahead and done the legwork for you, so no excuses this year, team! These are the tips that I think are the most useful for our purposes of making an ACTUAL change in 2017:
- Be specific and realistic. This entails planning and taking small steps towards your resolution/goal every day.
- Talk about it …that means out loud …to other people! Yes, my dog Lennon is also excited about our 2017 running goal but we need real people to make us accountable.
Don't be like Hagrid, in fact go ahead and comment below and tell me what your goal is for 2017!
- Keep trying. Even if you have a bad day, week or month, don’t write off your resolution/goal. You had this resolution/goal for a reason, so remind yourself why and recommit.
- Stop all or nothing thinking. This is similar to tip #3 but equally critical to success. If you get off track, forgive yourself and recommit. As my favourite gym instructor says, even if you don't have the best workout, you're still lapping everyone on the couch.
- Plan rewards for yourself when you reach a milestone, especially in the beginning! Rewards are different for each person, but try to avoid a counterproductive reward system, like if you quit smoking for a whole month, avoid rewarding yourself with a cigarette. I plan on rewarding myself with a new piece of gear for every 50 km Lennon and I run this year ...don't worry, he'll get something too.
Looking for other resources to help you? Check out these new books and learn even more tips for breaking bad habits and changing behaviours, with the convenience of multiple formats to suit your needs.
With these tips and resources in mind, let's get started, or get back on track, with our resolutions/goals! I wish you real success in 2017. Feel free to comment and tell me about your own resolutions/goals or tips/resources you find useful.
Happy New Year, Team!
-Reagan (& Lennon)