According to the University of Scranton: Journal of Clinical Psychology (Research Date: 1/1/2014), only eight (8%) percent of people are successful in achieving their New Year’s resolution. The study also found that people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who do not explicitly make resolutions. To help you keep your resolution this year consider the following six suggestions.
1. Write it
2. List it
3. Plan it
4. Visualize it
5. Post it
6. Share it
The first step to a successful New Year’s resolution is writing it down. Put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and state your resolution. By writing or typing your New Year’s resolution, you make a stronger commitment to it than just thinking or saying it. Written words are more powerful than thoughts which come and go, and often get interrupted. When it is written, you can see it and it becomes more tangible and real to you.
Also, when you write your resolution it will force you to clarify exactly what you want. If you do not write down your goal, it is only a wish.
After you write or type your New Year’s resolution, list the benefits of achieving it. List what you will get out of sticking to and achieving your resolution. Listing the benefits will help provide motivation. Knowing what you will get by achieving your resolution will provide inspiration throughout the months. For example, if you resolve to get into better shape, you may list being healthier, having more energy, or feeling good about yourself. If you plan on saving more money, you may list what you will be able to do with the savings (e.g. take a trip, down payment for a house, etc…).
Do not try to accomplish too much too quickly. It may become overwhelming and you may get discouraged. Often times, people create a lofty resolution, but it is so lofty they get frustrated and quit within a short period of time. Many New Year’s resolutions have ended by March 1.
If you do decide upon a challenging resolution, create a plan of how you will achieve your end goal. Break your resolution down into smaller segments. If you want to stop smoking, plan on gradually reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke per day. If you want to save $2000 by the end of the year, plan on setting aside $6 a day.
Your segmented plan will act like mile markers on a highway. You can focus on each mile marker as it comes up and not get discouraged by looking down the long road ahead. It will also enable you to see how far you have come and how far you need to go.
One of the best ways to develop a commitment to your resolution is to visualize the end result. By visualizing the end result, you get a mental picture of exactly what you want the results to look like. You see yourself successfully reaching your goal. If you want to get in better shape, create a mental picture of yourself wearing your favorite swimsuit in the summer. Knowing and seeing the outcome will also help motivate you during the course of the year.
“Out of sight, out of mind” is a saying that can apply to your resolution. You want to keep your resolution at the forefront of your thoughts. Therefore, after you write your resolution, post it where you will see it regularly. Regularly seeing and reading your resolution gives you a constant reminder of what you want to achieve. When you read it on a regular basis you begin to focus your attention on it.
Post it on your refrigerator, on your computer, at your desk at work, or anywhere it gives you a constant reminder of what you want to accomplish. If you post your resolution, you can read it and think about throughout the day. The more you see it, the more you think about it, and the more it will matter to you. You will give your subconscious a clearer image of what you want to accomplish. It will become something that you think about constantly. It will be kept at the forefront of your thoughts.
Share your resolution with others. Sharing your resolution with others, benefits you in several ways. First, you develop a deeper commitment to accomplishing it. If people know about it, they may ask you about it during the course of the year. If they do ask, you want to be able to tell them how successful you have been. It puts a little pressure on you to keep it up. Subconsciously you do not want to admit that you were not able to keep your resolution. On the other hand, if people did not know about it, it is easier to quit. No one would ever know you failed to keep your resolution. It is the easy way out, but it will not help you reach your goal.
Also, by letting others know about your resolution, they can cheer you on and support you if you find it challenging to keep it over the course of the year.
Also, share your progress. Let people know how you are doing with your resolution. Keep them apprised of your progress over the year. Social media is a great way to let people know how well you are doing. Another nice thing is that your success may encourage and inspire others to try or stick to a goal of their own.
There is a little pressure on you when you share your resolution, but a lot of benefits.