Staying Accountable for Your New Year’s Resolutions

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It’s the last week of January, and I’m sure you’re crushing all of your New Year’s resolutions right? You’re feeling good, looking good, saving tons of money and you’re ready to take on 2016. Or maybe you’re like me, not exactly dominating all of your resolutions, but not quite ready to throw in the towel. Instead of giving up and taking the “oh well, there’s always 2017” approach – here are few ideas to help you refresh and stay on track.

First and foremost, make sure your goals are measureable. Take a look at your resolution and try to hone in on exactly what you are trying to accomplish. Rather than saying, “I want to be strong like Rhonda Rousey,” start with a specific goal that will help you to get strong; for example “I want to complete 25 push-ups in a row.” Break your main goal into several small goals and set a time frame for each one. This way, you will be able to measure your progress and ultimately achieve your overall goal.

As much as you can, plan ahead. Look at the upcoming week and determine what could possibly steer you off track. Realize there will always be temptations (sure that second Sweet Mandy B’s cupcake sounds like a good idea), but decide ahead of time how you will handle it. By assessing the risks before they happen, you’ll have a game plan and you’re more likely to stay on track.

Why keep your resolution a secret, instead talk about it. Tell your friends, family and coworkers about your resolutions so that they can help support you as you’re conquering your goals. Who knows, maybe your bestie also has a goal to volunteer and help children in Nicaragua get clean water and because you shared your resolution, you now have a buddy to accomplish this feat with.

They say habits take 21 days to form, so stick with it. Be patient and eventually something that used to be a dreaded task will become second nature. OK, maybe getting up at 5 am to hit the gym may never be second nature, but it will certainly get easier. There are always going to be ups and downs, but overall the more you do something, the less effort you will have to put into doing that activity.

Finally nailed that handstand? Curbed your late night snacking? Saved ten percent of your paycheck? Reward yourself! Celebrate your kickass accomplishment by treating yourself to something special. Whether it is a mani/pedi, some new workout kicks or a movie with a friend, show your willpower a little appreciation. Just make sure your treat doesn’t negate all the hard work you put in (put down that box of Girl Scout cookies … OK, just one is cool)!

Resolutions are meant to be challenging. If they weren’t, you’d already be doing them. It isn’t always going to be easy, but it won’t always be hard. Slip-ups may happen and you may fall off track, but don’t give up. Use the steps above to keep you accountable and remember: you are a warrior, you’ve got this!

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About Rachel Mitz

The self-diagnosed work-out-a-holic, Rachel Mitz can be found all around Chicago, staying fit when she isn't crunching numbers as a director of corporate finance for a commercial real estate company. Chicago area bred and University of Illinois alum, Rachel works hard and plays hard so her daily workouts are her chance to connect with her mind and body. Rachel keeps it exciting by creating up a lineup of both fun and challenging morning workouts from personal training sessions, to boot camps, to spin classes or runs along the lake front (she just completed her first marathon in October). For fun, you can find Rachel trying new restaurants, traveling, volunteering with her favorite middle schoolers at San Miguel or enjoying a glass of red wine and fro-yo.