After each passing year, we look back on what our lives have been and where we can improve ourselves for the next year to come. With this new-found inspiration, many of us like to make ‘Resolutions’ to make goals and to overall improve our life in some aspect. Even though the intentions are good, there are few who stick to this new resolution. According to the study done at the University of Scranton, 77% of people kept their resolutions for a week, but only 19% of people were able to keep up the new resolution for over two years. How can we keep our new year’s resolution for this year and stick to it?
Even though we are at the end of January, you can still create, or pick back up, a resolution that you always wanted to keep.
Here are ways to help you achieve your goal this year.
By only focusing on one resolution, you will have a much better chance at making it a habit and sticking with it. There is nothing wrong with adding more than one resolution, but make sure you put them in order of priority!
Researchers found that people who were successful at keeping their New Year’s resolutions slipped, or made mistakes. In fact, 71 percent of people who were successful in their resolutions slipped in the first month. Interestingly, people who were not successful slipped at the same rate. But the people who were successful didn’t quit after making a mistake. And in many cases, they doubled their efforts after the slip. This demonstrates that persistence is also key.
I don’t mean that you need to move or relocate, but by changing your environment to help keep your habit will pay dividends in building that good habit. If you are working on losing weight, then don’t by junk food. Want to quit smoking? Throw out all your ashtrays and lighters. Want to get more exercise? Put your running shoes next to the door.
When making resolutions, people tend to make the ‘main stream’ ones instead of focusing on what they really want for themselves. Think about what you really want to do. Want to concentrate on perfecting your favorite hobby or set a goal to go for a hike each month? Don’t let people sway you to create a habit that you do not enjoy or gain value from. If you cannot commit 100%, then move your attention to something that you are more passionate about. This is about improving yourself.
Habits don’t always have immediate results. Some take time to fully manifest and get the value from. Rewarding yourself along the way is a great way to keep your spirits up and steady your course. If you didn’t smoke this week, congratulate yourself and really mean it! Go see a movie, or go visit your favorite park. But remember, don’t reward yourself with not smoking by lighting a cigarette up. Always move forward, not backwards.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will a good habit be set in a day. Start little-by-little. If you want to lose weight, don’t expect the lose 20 pounds the first week. Set realistic, attainable goals. By doing this, you will become more confident and overall improve your good habit.
Having a written document of why you have chosen your New Year’s resolution will help strengthen your motivation. Some ideas could be: playing with the kids, spending your time better, feeling healthy, improving your life in some way. This personal, internal motivations are really powerful, and will help you in particular times when you are having a hard time keeping your resolution. Place them somewhere you will see them every day to remember why you started in the first place!
At Clifford Family Medicine, we want you to succeed in any way that builds your life for the better. If you have any questions about ways to help stick to your goals, drop on by and talk to us. We are here to serve you.
If you are needing additional inspiration to help maintain your resolution, check out the Morning Miracle. This book details ways to inspire you each day to have the best day, every day!