At the onset of each new calendar year, adults across the globe make resolutions for the year ahead. These resolutions are made to ensure the next 12 months are healthy and happy ones.
But as well-intentioned as New Year’s resolutions can be, they’re often less than successful and might even prove counter productive to those who don’t fulfill their resolutions. According to a recent British study conducted by researchers at of questions about their New Year’s resolutions, 78% failed to fulfill their resolutions. Failing to achieve a resolution can be dispiriting, and such a failure can make men and women feel worse about themselves than they did prior to making the resolution.
What is a person to do to make a resolution a success? Though there are no guarantees when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, there are steps men and women can take to increase the likelihood that their resolutions will prove successful.
• Be certain about your motives. The motives behind a resolution should be strong and unquestionable. If the motive is weak, the chances of failure increase. Before making a resolution, examine your motives. Gain an understanding of why it is important to you to make this change and if you think you can commit to the change for the next 12 months
and the years ahead. If you don’t fully understand why you’re doing something, you’re less likely to keep doing it.
• Only make one resolution. Change is never easy, especially when it comes to our habits. Making several resolutions makes it harder to achieve any of them, as it will require making several changes all at once. Instead, make just one resolution and then devote your full focus to making it a success.
• Be specific when setting goals. Perhaps the most popular resolution is to lose weight. But one of the reasons many people are unsuccessful when they resolve to lose weight is they aren’t specifi c enough. For example, losing one pound can be considered weight loss, but men and women who want to lose weight as their New Year’s resolution almost certainly want to lose more than a single pound. When making a resolution, be very specific (i.e., lose 20 lbs.) and set periodic goals (5 lbs. by the end of the first month) to give you something smaller to push for as you pursue the bigger goal.
• Report to a spouse or significant other. Another reason many resolutions fail is because there’s no watchdog to monitor progress or regression. When making a resolution, enlist the help of your spouse or significant other to hold you accountable. If you are single, make this person someone you won’t want to disappoint, such as a sibling, so you’re more motivated along the way.
• Make it a daily project. A New Year’s resolution should provide daily opportunities to make progress. There should be things you can do every day to make your resolution a success. A popular New Year’s resolution is to save money. This should be easy to pull off,
as men and women have opportunities each and every day to save money, including bringing their lunch to work instead of going out for lunch. If there’s something you can do every day to make the resolution a success, it’s more likely to quickly become part of your
routine, making it easier to achieve as a result.