How To Make A New Year's Resolution That You Will Actually Keep
If you already have your New Year’s resolution planned for 2018, you may want to rethink it. According to U.S News, 80% of resolutions will fail by the second week of February. And only 8% will actually see their resolution through the end of 2018.
The most shocking part of this study is the reasoning behind these statistics. People are not dropping their new set goals because a lack of motivation or resources, but because they are actually TOO motivated.
Follow this 3-step plan to channel your motivation the right way!
Step 1: Be Reasonable
We have all heard the expression “go big or go home” but sometimes going too big can be harmful. This can be especially true when it comes to our New Year’s resolutions.
Your goal might be to lose 100 pounds in the next few months or become the new CEO of your company. But that is probably a unrealistic and unlikely accomplishment. More often than not, we quickly jump off the wagon when we don’t see results right away. Pick one small goal and use the SMART method - meaning your goals are Specfic, Measurable, Achieveable, Realistic, and Timely. This has been the method proven to be the most effective!
Step 2: Start Small and Develop a Plan
The key to changing habits is consistency and discipline. Taking small action, every day leads to the desired “snowball effect”. You build momentum, which creates confidence to take more action, and motivates you to keep pushing. This snowball effect creates an upward spiral of action until soon the behavioral change becomes automatic (unconscious). You must have a plan in place in order for this to work. Small achievable steps planned out ahead of time will direct your intention and keep you focused to fulfill your long-term goals.
However, these small steps won’t lead to much without having a plan in place. If you want that snowball to grow, you need to develop daily and weekly tasks that will immediately help you work towards your goals in the future.
Sample Resolution Plans
Original Resolution: I am going to lose weight
Smarter Resolution: I am going to lose 10 pounds in 3 months
- Daily Tasks: I am going to wake up and drink a glass of water, eat two fresh fruits and a salad, and take the stairs instead of the elevator everyday.
- Weekly Tasks: I am going to go to the gym three times a week and prepare my meals for the week every Sunday night.
Original Resolution: I am going to workout more
Smarter Resolution: I am going to workout 2 to 3 days a week
- Daily Tasks: I am going to take a 20 min walk during my lunch break.
- Weekly Tasks: I am going to take the yoga classes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at my neighborhood recreation center.
Original Resolution: I am going to be healthy.
Smarter Resolution: I am going to protect my health by practicing preventive medicine.
- Daily Tasks: I am going to reguarly take my vitamins and supplements every day.
- Weekly Tasks: I am going to make an appointment with my doctor this week for a regular check-up.
Step 3: Readjust As Needed
You may quickly realize that it is a lot easier to work out 3 times a week than you originally thought. If so, that’s great! But now it’s time to tweak your plan once again. Once you have taken the small steps and reached your short-term goals, tweak and adjust your steps to where you are right outside your comfort zone. You can measure your success in this manner. For example, try pushing yourself to work out 5 times a week instead 3 or maybe try that new CrossFit class you have been dreading to take. This continual readjustment will set you on the fast track to reaching your desired result.