Next, consider ways for your intention to be specific and measurable in a manner that is realistic. If you set out to do too much, you will likely struggle to keep at it. Most people quit because they overdo it and can’t maintain the expectations they have set for themselves. Maybe it is best to start off slowly and build momentum as you adapt to the changes in your schedule. Maybe taking baby steps and gradually adding more as you get proficient and acclimated are best for you. Think of other times and what has and hasn’t worked well for you. What can you learn from those situations and what would you do differently?
It isn’t a competition to be first or best or the fastest. It is about making a lifestyle change, which happens when you embrace the changes you are making in your life. It is far easier to embrace change when it occurs in stages, at the pace that is best for you, and in turn becomes enjoyable and fulfilling. But that isn’t how most of us go about New Year’s Resolutions. The typical approach is to pick a program or routine that offers fairly rapid results, whether it is to lose weight, quit smoking, learn a new skill or get fit. Once done, the assumption is that you have completed the resolution. Whether you have adopted it as a part of your lifestyle is another matter.
The point isn’t to abandon the programs, but to understand which ones are really right for you and when is the best time to do them. It is also to have a longer term view of the process so that you incorporate what you get from the programs in a way that helps you embrace the changes you want into a new way of living. An analogy to this is going on a diet to reach a goal but then going back to your old way of eating. What does that really accomplish? You don’t end up with a new way of eating that helps you lose weight for the long term. You don’t enjoy the process, and you may even rebel against it to the point of taking up worse habits that set you further away from where you want to be.
So don't make resolutions for the New Year. Make intentions that will leave you feeling good about yourself.