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Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

If you are like many people, setting – and breaking – New Year’s resolutions has become a yearly right of passage. It’s time to break the cycle! Whether your 2020 resolutions include a desire to live healthier, improve your finances, get a promotion at work, or take a once-in-a-lifetime trip, a little planning can help you persevere. Here are some tips:

1. Set realistic goals
This is one of the areas that trip people up the most. Let’s say your really want to lose weight. Setting a goal of losing 100 lbs could be really discouraging, because it seems really unattainable when you first start out. A more realistic goal may be to lose 10 lbs. Then, once you’ve achieved that goal, you can set a new goal. Another example might be eating healthier. Making a sudden drastic change may be daunting. So instead of saying you are going to cut out ALL sugar in your diet, focus on making a smaller change – like only have dessert once a week instead of every night!  Setting goals in terms of absolutes is a prescription for discouragement. Be realistic, knowing you can adjust as you go.

2. Make plans
Making lifestyle changes requires planning. You may need to get a health assessment, acquire recipes or equipment, or do some other pre-work so you can hit th ground running. If you wait until New Year’s Eve to make your resolutions, then you will already be behind on New Year’s Day. So plan ahead, and  make preparations to be successful.

3. Anticipate challenges
You will be faced with temptation as you adjust to the changes you want to make. Those donuts in the break room are calling your name, or the smell of coffee from the corner coffee shop on our walk to work entices you to give up your resolution. So go into the New Year with a plan for how you will overcome such challenges. It may be taking a different route to work or distracting yourself. If you have a plan for how you will overcome temptation, then you are less likely to get derailed.

4. Write it down
For some people, writing things down make them “official”. You can hang it up in your cubicle or on the refrigerator door as a reminder. You may also find it helpful to list out the pros and cons of your resolutions – what are you giving up versus what you are gaining. The rewards can be a powerful motivator, and having a tangible list may help you.

5. Don’t keep it a secret
If you keep your resolutions to yourself, then there is no one to hold you accountable if you don’t follow-through. Plus, if you let your friends and family in on your goals, they can help you avoid temptation or act as a cheerleader when you are struggling. Having an accountability partner can also be helpful, because you can help keep each other on track.

6. Build in a reward system
It’s important to celebrate success as you achieve milestones toward your goals. Try to avoid rewarding yourself with food, though. If you are trying to be healthier or lose weight, then reward yourself with a little shopping or a movie (avoid the popcorn!). Food rewards may contribute to poor habits and associate success with food – definitely a habit you want to break!

7. Track your progress
Keeping a journal that tracks our short-term milestones as you achieve them. It can be very motivational to look back on what you’ve accomplished, especially when you are struggling through a tough period. Also, keeping a food journal may help you identify areas where you may be sabotaging your progress.

8. Allow yourself mistakes
Mistakes happen. It’s not a reason to abandon your whole plan! Don’t beat yourself up when you slip, just acknowledge the set-back, make adjustments, and move on. Obsessing over it could escalate the issue and cause you go completely off track.

9. Give yourself time
Don’t expect immediate results. It can take up to 21 days for new habits to form. For new habits to become ingrained in your lifestyle can take up to 6 months. Be patient with yourself, and keep at it. It will get easier.

10. It’s OK to reset
Resolutions aren’t just for New Year’s day. You can start or restart a resolution at any time of year. For some resolutions, such as quitting smoking, you may need to re-commit yourself every single day. So, if you find that by mid-February you are losing focus your excitement is flagging, you can start over. Just don’t give up. Take it day by day if you have to.

Best of luck to you and Happy New Year! When it is time to sell or buy a home, having a local team you can rely on will make the process a smooth one. Call the Realtors® who love where they live and understand the local real estate market. ADMC Realty Group happily serves the communities in and around the Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia areas. From start to finish, we’re here to help with all your Real estate needs. Give us a call at (202)596-8101 or email us at [email protected].

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