Many of us will be finishing this year with indulgences and celebrations. We will then vow to start the New Year with the best of intentions and will tell our family and friends our New Year’s resolutions. Though January is a perfect time to turn a new page in your life, many of you will have a hard time keeping your resolutions. You might start off strong and confident that you can stick to it (this time) but without motivation, resources and consistency you will struggle to keep at it beyond January, let alone the end of 2018. Find out the secret to sticking to your New Year’s Resolution below:
Don’t Do It Alone
Whether you want to go to the gym regularly, take up salsa classes or quit smoking it is important that you don’t do it alone. “If you are someone who has a higher success rate when you have outside support, then get a buddy,” says success coach Amy Applebaum. “This creates accountability, which is essential for success.” If you surround yourself with people who motivate you to succeed then you are more likely to stick to your resolution.
Don’t Set Unrealistic Resolutions
Many of us create resolutions that are hard to attain. In order to ensure that your goal is attainable, make sure it is realistic and that it is something you want to commit to. There is no point setting a New Year’s resolution because you feel like it’s something that you have to do, instead, you should set a goal that you are determined to meet. “Resolutions require changes in behavior, and most of us don’t want to face that there is often a laundry list of changes to make,” says Alabama-based clinical psychologist Josh Klapow. “So pick one you have confidence in and stick with it. It is far better to succeed at a smaller, more manageable resolution than to fail at a larger, loftier one.”
Set Prevention Goals, Not Promotion Goals
Tony Higgins is a Professor of Psychology and Business at Columbia University. He says that there are two types of resolutions: Promotion Goals and Prevention Goals. Promotion goals are aspirations we have for the future, such as “I will buy my first home” or “I will write my first novel”. However, prevention goals are less about improvement and more about maintenance. They are discipline-oriented targets that keep us on track, such as “I will pay my credit card bill on time” or “I will stop smoking”. Higgins highlights that people who make prevention goals generally have higher success rates. Why? Because failing to meet your prevention goal has more consequences than failing to meet a promotion goal. “Failing in promotion causes depression, failing in prevention causes anxiety,” Higgins explains.
Don’t Give Up Too Easily
“Many people make their resolutions with a genuine belief that they can accomplish them, but come February the excitement wears off and other priorities begin to take precedence,” says Andrew Schrage, founder of MoneyCrashers. “To cure this issue, try to set benchmarks throughout the year. By doing so, you can keep yourself on track throughout the year and use the power of positive reinforcement to keep your momentum going.”
Believe In Yourself
According to Beverly Hills psychotherapist Barbara Neitlich, sometimes all you need to keep going is a pat on the back—from yourself. “Congratulate yourself for your progress. The problem is that many individuals have a very black and white attitude. They see it as either you have achieved your goal or you have failed, but there is a grey area,” she says.
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