I did a little research and found out that, according to the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology, the Top Six New Year’s Resolutions (NYRs) last January were to:
- Lose weight
- Get organized
- Spend less/save more
- Enjoy life to the fullest
- Stay fit and healthy
- Learn something exciting
- Quit smoking
The same source reports that of the 45% of us Americans who usually make these NYRs, only 8% are successful in achieving them. Sad to say, most of us have abandoned our NYRs by the end of January. So this year, let’s all resolve to be more successful at setting and keeping our NYRs. Here’s how.
- Really reflect on last year. Think about what you did well and what you could have done better. What kinds of changes do you want to see? Don’t beat yourself up or set goals that set you up for failure. Be kind to yourself and realistic. Instead of a long list, find one or two things that are doable.
- Know why you want to achieve your NYR. Understanding the motivation behind your goal will help you keep it or maybe realize that it’s not really worth doing.
- Put your NYR list in writing and keep it in a visible place – some place you look every day (hint: that’s not a box at the back of your closet). Photos are helpful. If you are trying to lose weight, post a picture of yourself when you were thinner. Or if you are trying to save money, post a photo of where you want to retire.
- Take baby steps and take all the time you need to succeed. Short of aggressive liposuction or starvation, nobody is going to shed 25 pounds in one month. Losing 1 or 2 pounds a week is in the realm of reality.
- Get support. Having a network of people to encourage you can be a major factor in success. Choose wisely. You want people who will build you up, not sabotage your efforts or discourage you.
- Anticipate setbacks. When you backslide, think about why you did it, talk it over with your support network, forgive yourself and get back on the horse. That’s my best advice (and I sure hope I can follow it this year). How about you? What kind of NYRs are you making? Do you have any tips for succeeding?