TURNING YOUR NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS INTO REALITY
Every January 1, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions to live happier, healthier lives.
According to the Marist Poll from the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, released December 20, the most popular resolutions for 2018 include “be a better person”, “lose weight”, “exercise more”, “eat healthier”, “get a better job”, “improve overall health”, “stop smoking” and “spend less and save more money.”
But how many of those resolutions are likely to become reality?
New Year’s resolutions are easier to make than they are to achieve because accomplishing them requires a commitment of time, focus and energy that many people aren’t actually willing to make. So, while it’s easier to wish for something than to do whatever it takes take to accomplish it, wishing rarely results in success.
If you’re looking to achieve your New Year’s resolution, here are four simple strategies that can help you make it happen:
1. Be specific. If your goal is to “lose weight”, how much—and by when? If your dream is to “travel more”, where do you want to go? When will you book your tickets? If your resolution is to continue your education, which degree will you pursue? To which college will you apply? When will you enroll, and when will you graduate?
The more specific you are, the more likely you will be to succeed.
2. Set a deadline . It’s been said that a goal is a dream with a deadline. If you “want to lose 30 pounds” but don’t establish a timeline and a deadline, odds are you’re likely to end the year at the same weight you are today.
Setting a deadline and creating a timeline establishes focus and also creates a sense of urgency. Let’s say you want to lose 30 pounds by your birthday on May 21, which is 20 weeks from New Year’s Day. To reach your goal, you will need to lose an average of 1.5 pounds per week.
The goal already sounds a lot less intimidating, doesn’t it? And when you pursue it, one day and one week at a time, it is.
3. Create a game plan for success. There’s a reason the same resolutions are repeated year after year. Without a specific, detailed game plan for success, it’s easy to lose momentum and fail. That’s why writing your goal down—and then listing each step you’ll need to take to accomplish it—is so essential. Creating a written game plan—and then following it with intention—stacks the deck in your favor.
4. Develop a support system. The more connected you are with other people, the more support you’re likely to have in accomplishing your New Years resolution.
That’s why many people tell family members or friends about their resolutions. Others publicly declare their goal on Facebook or other social media, and post periodic updates about how they’re doing as they move toward their goal.
Positive reinforcement works. Receiving congratulations for completing a chapter of your novel or for celebrating Day 30 without a cigarette can help keep you motivated, especially on those days when your commitment wavers.
By incorporating these four simple strategies, you can increase your odds for success—and the likelihood of ending 2018 with a celebration of your accomplishment.