If you have ever made a New Year’s resolution, you know as well as I do that having a plan is easy. The hard part is sticking to it. All your good intentions and excitement get you going the first day or even weeks, then gradually you start falling back into old habits. You start making excuses why you cannot stick to the plan today. You hope that tomorrow you will do better, yet, deep inside you are well aware that your plans for getting to the gym regularly this year, eating better, being less of a procrastinator or whatever your New Year’s resolution was have start to unravel. Some people respond with resignation, “oh well, I tried”. Others dig in and try to recapture their initial enthusiasm, desperately hoping that this year the results will be different.
So what can you do when you find yourself struggling to stick to your plan? First, re-examine your plan. Were you unrealistic in your initial plan? Try for smaller goals, accomplishing little goals will have a big positive psychological effect. Forget the past failures and remember why it was and is important for you to make this change in your life. Try to visualize how you will feel when you accomplish your goal(s). The problem with a bad habit is that it has become a default path for many people when things are not going the way they want; therefore, be aware that you will have setbacks and try to get back on track quicker when you fall off the path to your goal. Don’t be so hard on yourself; remember if change was easy, everyone would be perfect and no one is perfect. Finally, don’t give up; the positive change is worth the effort.