According to research conducted by the University of Scranton, only 8% of people who set resolutions for the new year actually achieve their goals. So, how do you become an expert at resolution-keeping? Here are a few tips to help you better manage your goals for the new year.
Don’t overload yourself in the new year by setting a laundry-list of major life changes. You may feel like you need to reach for the moon in the new year, but studies show that setting much smaller and attainable goals can be easier for you to manage and ultimately keep. Take your resolutions one step at a time. “Remember, it is not the extent of the change that matters,” says psychologist Lynn Bufka, “but rather the act recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time.”
Last minute resolutions are much more likely to fail, especially if you are making a major lifestyle or behavior changes. Prepare yourself for the changes you seek to make!
Make it specific
Instead of setting vague and ambiguous goals like “be healthier,” decide exactly how you will achieve it. Write it down and hang it up! Pick a set schedule to go on walks every day, or plan your meals ahead of time to include lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. According to John Norcross of the University of Scranton, “We say that if you can’t measure it, it’s not a very good resolution because vague goals beget vague resolutions.”
Avoid repeating the past
If you are trying a past goal again this year, don’t make the same mistakes that caused you to fail last time. Take some time and evaluate your past choices with your goals. Which parts of your resolution were successful last time? Which parts were not? Switch up your approach!
Make your resolutions visual
Chart them out on a board to place on your desk, or join the growing trend of bullet journaling. If your goals are tangible and you are able to see them on a daily basis, you are much less likely to forget about them and abandon them. Have fun with it – use pretty pens and markers if that’s your style. New Year’s resolutions should be a fun and inspiring thing, not a stressful obligation.
Most importantly, believe in yourself
If you slip-up, don’t blame yourself or your own self-discipline. Small setbacks tend to destroy the motivation to keep up resolutions, but it is important to recognize that small pitfalls are not the end of the world. When something goes wrong, take a step back, evaluate the situation and jump back in. Leave those setbacks in the past, and forget about them. If you want to achieve a goal, you can. Willpower is malleable. If you believe that you can achieve your goals, then you will!