how to keep your new year's resolutions

Be a New Year’s Resolution Keeper!

It’s that time of year again, time to decide to make a change … then give up in a few weeks if you’re like most people. But change is fundamental to living a fulfilling life. We’ve been doing it since we were born (just imagine all of the hard work you put into learning to walk). We set goals and worked hard and became who we are today. So, then why do 92% of people who make New Year’s resolutions eventually fail?

Forced Change vs. Mindful Change

One problem with resolutions made on January 1 is that they were decided during a dinner party on December 31. Resolving to change should be a thoughtful choice that is planned for. You need to:

  • Really want to make a change
  • Be mentally prepared to change
  • Handle practical matters to reaching your goal

Then don’t bite off more than you can chew. And remember that it takes 66 days to make a new habit. Mark that time off on your calendar and work toward your goal day by day.

Join the 8% of Resolution Keepers

Since some people are able to keep to their resolutions, we can benefit from their methods. Follow these tips and you too can keep your resolutions.

1.  Be specific when setting your goal

Don’t set yourself up for failure by making vague goals. If you want to “lose weight,” frame that goal in specific language by saying “lose a pound a week for 10 weeks.” The specific goal is much more easily planned for, measured, and achieved.

2.  Detail a step-by-step plan

The best way to attain a goal is to reverse engineer the habit you’ll have to have to reach it. What would it take to lose a pound a week? “Track calories every day, weight train on even days, and do 45 minutes of cardio on odd days.”

3.  Find a values-based, motivating mantra

You’ve chosen your resolution because you want something for yourself. Mine your personal values for the reason. Then put a note on your bathroom mirror to remind yourself every day of that value. (A quote from a role model can be a good motivator.)

4.  Get back on the horse

We backslide. But that’s not a reason to quit moving toward your goal. So, you want to learn a new language. You miss your lesson one day. That’s not the end of it. Just look at your detailed plan (#2), use your values as a touchstone (#3), and get back on track.

Get Social and Professional Support

You’ve got your goal and your plan and your mantra, but it’s easy to quit on yourself. So, get a little help.

  1. Ask a like-minded friend to join you in reaching your goal. You can share ideas and support each other.
  2. Seek out encouragement. Tell your friends and family about your goal and ask them to cheerlead for you.
  3. Raise the stakes with something to lose. Earmark $100 to donate to a charity you hate if you don’t reach your goal.
  4. Hire a professional. For every goal, there’s someone out there to help: a personal trainer, a life coach, a resume writer, a guitar teacher …
  5. Find resources to help. The self-improvement movement is way ahead of you with phone apps, online support, and calendar reminders. Use them.

If you start on January 1, you’ll have a new habit by early March. That doesn’t seem so far away. But on those days when it does, just remember you only have to make a choice to follow your plan today. Tomorrow, you can choose to make the same choice again. But, don’t worry about tomorrow. For now, just concentrate on today.

Read More: 8 New Year’s Resolutions For Social Media Marketers