New Year’s Eve is just under a week away, which means so are the resolutions that we are about to make. Whether you make a resolution or not, research has found that people who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than the people who don’t explicitly make them. Now if you are like me, you make a resolution and probably follow through with it for about a month, because it’s not so easy to keep your resolve once life returns to normal and your old habits start eating away at the new ones you are trying to create. Everyone has the ability to make and keep meaningful changes in their life. It’s all about the strategy.
Know why. For your resolution to actually stick, it has to be aligned with your core values. We all want things like money and better looks, but your resolution has to go beyond those superficial desires and connect with what truly matters to you. When life gets back on track, you won’t have the resolve to stick to your resolution unless you are truly passionate about the goals you set. When your resolution is something you actually care about, it compels you to dig deep inside yourself and stay with your resolution.
Be specific. A lot of us are guilty of making resolutions that aren’t specific enough. We make resolutions like “eat better”, “get fitter”, or “be happier”. These resolutions are doomed to fail because they aren’t specific enough. The more specific you are, the more likely you will be to succeed. Make goals for yourself so that you can track your progress and measure your success.
Don’t just think it, write it down. When you write down your resolution, or any goals in general, it increases the probability that it will actually be achieved. Don’t just write down the goal though, write down as much information as you can. For instance, you might write down how it will make you feel to actually achieve the goal.
Narrow your efforts. Trying to do too many things at once can stress you out and make you so unfocused that you bounce around like a pinball machine. Set yourself up for success and start with just one major goal for your resolution. Then break those down into small steps so that you can start strong.
Remember, it’s a process. It’s easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm that comes in the beginning, and then let things come crashing down once that wears off. So focus on the process, and know that it takes time. Things aren’t just going to fall into place. It takes a lot of time and effort to meet your goals.
Forgive your failures. The setbacks and failures will happen, but they don’t have to define your success. What will define your success is how you respond to them. If you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up over it. Remember that everyone makes mistakes. Just don’t let them mean more than they do.