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As 2017 comes to a close, many people begin the annual tradition of preparing their New Year’s Resolutions. It is a way of going into a new year with goals, a reflection of how people want to improve. Perhaps it is to save more money, get in better shape, or leave behind a bad habit, like smoking.
Unfortunately, New Year’s resolutions also come with a negative connotation of failure. According to a 2017 article by Business Insider, 80% of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions by February. Most people are pretty familiar with the reasons for abandoning their resolutions: lack of time, lack of motivation, and a lack of perceived progress.
However, at CorporateStays, we don’t let the fear of failure stop us from taking on challenges. Which is why we’ve put together a short list of our strategies for turning New Year’s Resolutions into year-long habits.
When setting out to make your New Year’s Resolutions this year, set actual goals. It will be easier to take steps to achieve concrete goals than it will be to meet vague objectives like “losing weight” or “managing money better.”
Concrete goals could be a certain amount of money you would like to save over the course of the year or a new personal best for a certain distance under a certain time. Perhaps you would like to quit smoking completely or would like to With concrete goals, you can give yourself milestones to hit throughout the year. This will also allow you to adjust your expectations as you check in.
There is nothing wrong with adjusting your expectations as you progress. One of the big things that separates New Year’s Resolutions and real habits is the scale of your goals. A habit is something you can maintain over the full course of a year. This might mean that you won’t get 6-pack abs in two months, but by setting up smaller milestones to hit throughout the year, you will have a very strong core by the end of 2018. It could also mean putting aside $50 from every paycheck into your savings. It may not seem like much each week, but if you’re making a biweekly paycheck, that is $1300 by the end of the year.
And if you can commit to putting in the work all year, you may just exceed your original goal!
A common way that New Year’s Resolutions get thrown off the rails is one of the first times you slip up. Had to skip going to the gym because you stayed late at work? Wound up eating a little bit too much at your friend’s dinner party? Spent a little bit too much on that last shopping trip? As the late, great, Douglas Adams would say: Don’t Panic.
Habits are something you do on a routine basis; they are not broken by a simple slip-up. You don’t have to abandon your diet, your fitness routine, or your new budget because of a little setback. What you need to do is accept it, and move forward. To help prevent this from affecting your new routine in the future, maybe plan ahead to account for such events.
One thing to be certain to avoid is punishments. Doing a double-workout because you missed one gym day isn’t necessarily a good idea. To start with, you will be seeing your next gym trip as a punishment, not a fun part of getting healthy. Simply go back to your normal routine, and do as much of it as possible. To make your New Year’s Resolution into a habit, there is a lot of value in making sure it is something you look forward to. Which leads us to our next point…
Let’s remember the real goal: New Year’s Resolutions are about improving your well-being. It’s fun to be ambitious when coming up with your plan, but it’s just as important to make it feasible. Looking to get in better shape? Try to find a gym that is either near your home or on the way to the office. There are also a variety of at-home workouts you can try; make yourself calendar appointments to commit to your schedule.
There are occasionally road bumps that interfere with your new routine, but with a little planning, you will be able to manage them. Looking to get in better shape, but travelling frequently for work? Look to book somewhere where you would be able to work out and eat healthily. CorporateStays, for example, has a full kitchen in every apartment, and most of our buildings have fitness centres.
Team up with your friends to help each other reach your goals. You could sign up for a fitness class together or make a weekly gym date. You could even commit to checking in with each other once a week to help track each other’s progress. This will keep you both motivated and accountable to one another.
Whether you have plans to make some big changes in 2018, or you simply want to adjust your routine, we would like to wish you the best of luck with your New Year’s resolutions. And if travelling is on your to-do list for 2018, CorporateStays would be thrilled to host you. Our apartments are in prime locations and feature exclusive amenities, which will help keep you on track.
Thank you very much for your support over the year. This will be our last blog post of 2017; we look forward to bringing you more insights in 2018!