We all make them every time January rears its head New Year’s resolutions. Once the ball starts to drop at midnight, you think to yourself, “this year’s going to be different, this year is my year!” Well, there is nothing stopping you from making the year ahead the best year of your life except for you. So, before the new year gets away from you, here are the seven stages of keeping all those resolutions you outlined for yourself: 1. Extreme optimism. You can do this! [source:Giphy] Self-motivation might have been missing for a full year, but now it is back in full force for all your new goals you have in mind. It’s a new year, new you. You can accomplish anything! Nothing can stop you! 2. (Almost immediate) temptation. Who left a cupcake out? [source:Giphy] It’s almost as if it’s scientifically proven that if you want to stay away from sweets, desserts present themselves to you everywhere you turn. The same goes for all aspects of life. But, that is why they say a “goal’ is a “challenge’, because it won’t come about easily! Don’t worry: stay focused on the finish line, no matter how close you are to the starting line (cough, January). 3. Bargaining with yourself… you don’t really need it, right? [source:Giphy] With temptation comes conflicting desires, and you might start to bargain with yourself if your goal is reasonable (or even possible)! When you made your resolutions, you already notated the improvements that you need in your life. So instead of trying to strike a more appealing deal with yourself, hold true to your original convictions and push yourself even harder instead! 4. Procrastination sets in. Big time. [source:Giphy] Okay, you’ll continue with your goals a little longer‚ but you have too much to do today. Maybe you’ll start that new art class next week. Or join a gym tomorrow. Or you have one cheat day on your diet. As you act on these thought patterns, what you’re doing is not only making it harder to start your resolutions, but you’re losing momentum to finish them when you do! And you’re beating yourself up over being lazy in the process. Seize the day, you can do it! 5. Being annoyed at the one friend who says they’ve done more than you (and faster). [source:Giphy] You’ve been on track with your goals, and you’re proud! You’re not quite far enough along to say that your goal is almost accomplished, but you successfully have gotten the ball rolling. But, then there’s that one person in your life that has done five times as much since New Year’s Day. You’re happy for them, yet it makes you think you’ve made little progress in comparison which can feel frustrating. Before you blow steam out of your ears, as you listen to their long list of achievements, remember that life is not a race‚ you’ll be victorious at your own pace. 6. Your resolutions become second nature. Oh wait, this was supposed to be hard? [source:Giphy] After practicing (or not practicing) a habit, an activity, or a mindset over a long period of time, you might forget altogether that this new endeavor started as a specific goal. Much into the year, if all goes according to plan, you might begin to wonder why you thought your goal was going to be difficult for you back in January. Or perhaps you couldn’t imagine NOT pushing yourself to make this change. Either way, your goal has transformed into part of your lifestyle. Bravo! 7. A last ditch effort every December… [source:Giphy] Maybe you forgot that you had a goal because you never got around to doing it, or it didn’t go according to your original plan. That doesn’t mean you should give up on your goal forever! New Year’s resolutions don’t have to necessarily begin on January 1st‚ you can change things up in your life at any time. That being said, if you write down everything you wish to do in one full year, you can keep track of your progress as you go. Check your annual to-do list in the latter part of the year to see if there is anything on it that is a quick fix. Getting some resolutions checked off right under the wire in December is better than not accomplishing your goals at all! Just remember one thing, above all: [source:Giphy] Do what’s right for you! Good luck with your resolutions and never give up on your dreams. What other stages of keeping New Year’s resolutions are there? Do you encounter other obstacles in the way of accomplishing your goals? Let us know!