New Year’s is time for a fresh start. Approximately 40 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions in January. People vow to lose weight, exercise more, pay off all their debt, and save more money for retirement.
But more often than not, most resolutions fall by the wayside in a matter of weeks. Only 8 percent of resolutions succeed. That means a whopping 92 percent fail. Most people set goals that are too large, too vague, and unrealistic. These types of resolutions are very difficult—and sometimes impossible—to keep.
However, there are factors that make resolutions more likely to succeed. To meet your New Year’s resolution and become one of the 8 percent, follow these five tips.
Tip 1: Keep It Simple
The first tip to make your resolution succeed is to keep it simple. Long laundry lists of goals or extreme goals are difficult to meet. Instead, set resolutions that are:
A resolution to “lose some weight” is vague and unmeasurable. Instead, try something like “lose five pounds by the end of February.” This goal is small and attainable. You could measure your progress and stay on track to meet a tangible deadline.
Tip 2: Keep It Visible
Don’t keep your resolution to yourself. Keep a visual record of your progress toward meeting your goal. Put it in a place where you’ll see it every day, and consider sharing it with friends and family members. Not only will they help you stay accountable, they will also help encourage you to stay on track.
Tracking your progress can also be motivating. Choose a tracking method that works best for you. Keep a paper record on your fridge or go electronic with a spreadsheet. There are many smartphone apps that can help you track your goals, too.
Tip 3: Believe in Yourself
It may seem too easy, but simply believing you can meet your goal can help you meet it. In fact, just setting a goal increases your chances of success. Use positive self-talk to boost your confidence and get you through challenges.
If you fall off the wagon, don’t use it as an excuse to throw in the towel. Instead, recommit to your goal for 24 hours. Once you meet that little goal, recommit for another 24. Before you know it, you’ll be back on track.
Tip 4: Make a Plan
Though some great ideas occur spontaneously, most great resolutions are planned. Decide on a deadline for your goal and plan out smaller goals that will help you meet your resolution.
While you’re making your plan, come up with a strategy for dealing with obstacles. Having a plan for obstacles will make it easier to overcome them.
Tip 5: Reward Yourself Creatively
Don’t forget to reward yourself for staying on track. But make sure your rewards support your resolution. It’s counterproductive to reward yourself with an ice cream sundae when your resolution is to lose weight.
Instead, come up with some creative ideas for rewards that won’t derail your goal. You could treat yourself to new workout clothes, a trip to the spa, or a night at the movies.
Make your resolution a success by following these five tips. For support in meeting your goal to have a healthy and happy 2015, contact me today.
Here’s to breathing easy and living life to the fullest!
Gene Wood, Life’s Pure Balance