Keep that Resolution Alive
As Joyce pointed out last week, many goals die quickly. But if a goal is important to you, there are strategies to help you keep it alive.
The first is to expect obstacles: recognize that of course you will face challenges along the way! This strategy has two big benefits:
1) You won’t immediately give up when something goes wrong. If you’re mentally prepared, then the occasional setback will simply be part of the process … you knew it was coming, and it came. So now you can go on.
2) You can anticipate some possible obstacles and either avoid them or prepare for them. Example: if you know that hanging out with certain friends often results in your spending more than you intended to, then make a point to leave your plastic at home when you’re with them.
This leads to another important strategy for sticking to your goal: control your environment. Avoid things that will lead you astray. Shopping-related examples:
- Stay away from the mall or tempting stores when possible;
- Control how much money you have available when shopping;
- Block or avoid certain websites if you tend to overspend on-line;
- In tempting situations, have someone with you who will help you stick to your goals, rather than someone who will lead you astray;
- Set a time limit – promise to meet someone at a certain time so that you don’t have time to shop around much.
For more ideas, check out the national Extension “Small Steps to Health and Wealth” website: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/sshw/
If you really meant it when you made that resolution, then it’s worth a little effort and advance planning to help you stick with it! After a while, your habits will shift toward the behavior you desire, but in the early weeks of setting a new pattern most of us will benefit by stacking the deck in our favor! ~Barb