Resolutions: How to Make Them Stick

Three out of four people will abandon their New Year’s resolution by the end of January. Maybe you have already. Four out of five will eventually abandon it. Consequently, some people, feeling that resolutions are a futile exercise, choose to not set them at all.

Some people don’t set resolutions because they don’t think setting goals at an arbitrary date works. Resolutions do work. And they can stick.

Resolutions are just goals that are set at the beginning of the year. The beginning of the year is a great time because we can look back at our last 12 months and see the things that we would like to do differently. And we can decide how we want to take action to make our lives more abundant.

Tips for Your Resolution to Stick:

 Set realistic, specific goals.

  • Watching less TV is not a goal, but giving yourself a max of two hours a day is.

 Have a plan.

  • A goal without a plan is just a dream. Know what steps you need to take to be reaching your goal. For example, if you want to be a better speaker, join Toastmasters. That is a step in the direction of your goal. If you want to make more sales, make sure you know and focus on the activity that is going to take you there.

Have an accountability partner.

  • You have to enroll others in your goals for them to stick. Find a workout buddy or get a trainer. Hire a coach. Find someone who is capable of positively encouraging your progress. Accountability doesn’t mean pressure.

Celebrate your successes along the way.

  • Pay attention to the little victories. Don’t wait for the goal to be finally completed. Focus on progress over perfection.

Focus your thinking on new behaviors and thought patterns.

  • You have to create new neural pathways in your brain to change habits. When you catch yourself thinking something that is unhealthy, say to yourself, “That was just a thought.” If you realize it is just a thought, you have power over it and can change it.

Focus on the present.

  • Don’t get overwhelmed by the size of your goal or the commitment involved. Ask yourself, “What’s the one thing I can do today, right now, toward my goal?”

Give yourself grace.

  • Oftentimes guilt is our biggest obstacle. If we don’t do something we are supposed to do, we get mad at ourselves. Feel guilty enough times and you can become paralyzed by guilt and abandon your goal entirely. Instead, recognize your mistake, forgive yourself, and commit to taking action toward getting back on track.

A resolution is just hitting reset. We can hit reset at any time. But the beginning of the year is a good time to hit reset. If you follow these steps, you will be in the top 10% of all people. You will be in that successful minority of people who know how to stick with not just their New Year’s resolutions but any goal they decide to pursue.

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