5 Clever Ways to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick
Getting yourself ready for 2017? There’s a 45% chance you are one of the Americans who usually sets up New Year’s resolutions -- and if you are not, maybe you should be! As research shows, writing your goals down, makes you ten times more likely to complete them.
There is a collective perception that New Year’s Day should be the time when you can start a new, fresh phase in your life. As much as we would all like for January 1st to be the catalyst for that newly-reinvented and successful person we want to become, only 8% of us will be achieving our yearly resolutions. Fortunately, there are some things we can do that can change our resolutions’ direction from failure to success.
Set Clear Achievable Goals
On many people’s resolutions lists, you can find things like “Enjoy life to the fullest” or “Fall in love” or “Travel more.” The most common resolution people write is “Lose weight.” While all of these are utterly important, there is no clear idea of what you’ll need to do to consider that goal achieved.
Make your list more comprehensible for you, and write down specific things you’ll need to do to get to that ideal image of yourself: “Run 30 minutes every two days” instead of simply “lose weight.” You can even use the “SMART” business approach to setting objectives: make them specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
Don’t expect your life to change during the first month. If you blame yourself every year at the end of January for the fact that you still haven’t begun working on completing your New Year’s resolutions, remember always to start small. According to psychologists, positive lifestyle changes take time, and you need to be prepared for a long road ahead. It’s better to break your big plans into micro-projects and take a small step each day. This way, you will not feel overwhelmed or burdened by your goals.
Make Your Goals Important for You and Those Around You
Your objectives are important not because you write them down at the beginning of the year and know that you have a list of things to achieve. Your objectives begin to matter when you invest time and thought about how to complete them.
Introduce them into your daily schedule. Plan their implementation constantly and track your progress, whether it’s by keeping a journal or by checking it with your friends. Moral support is important, and people acknowledging your goals make it more likely that they will help you to achieve it.
Take smoking, for example. If you have smoking partners at work, that usually ask you on a “cigarette break,” telling them about your goal will announce them that you will soon not be available for cigarette breaks anymore. People will start respecting your goals if they see you are committed to them, and they will take care not to disturb you on your path.
Praise Yourself for the Road, and Not Only for the Result
Stop seeing your success only through the number of resolutions that you have completed. Resolutions are important for the processes they take to complete and the person you become by engaging in those processes. If you sneak a cigarette, forget to wake up for your morning run or watch another episode of your favorite TV show instead of going to sleep early, there’s nothing wrong with that.
There are very few people in the world that manage to change their lives in a very short period of time. Persevere, prioritize your objectives, and learn from every mistake. Remember that change takes time, and doing something little to change your life is better than doing nothing.
Whether you plan some New Year’s resolutions or not, you should run for your dreams and work to make them happen.