It’s that time of year again, time we all start thinking about the new year and a resolution to go with it. Trouble is, for most of us, it’s easy to make and even easier to break. With the new year right around the corner, we tend to find more motivation to invest in changes for our betterment. So why then, do most of us fail to keep promises we’ve made to ourselves? For most of us, that very motivation we find so easy to harness at the end of the year quickly fades as the new year unveils itself. What can we do about that? Well…. as with most things that turn out successful…. it starts with a plan. Take it in steps:
1) Set an Attainable Goal…. Many folks fail before they even get started! Whatever you do, set realistic goals! Otherwise you are wasting your time. And, don’t try to change a whole buch of things at once…. you’ll have better odds if you change things one step at a time….. Don’t put more pressure on yourself than you can reasonably handle! Whatever your trying to change (most of us are trying to reverse something), remember, it took us a while to get that way (develop that habit)…. accept the fact, it will take time to change it.
2) Plan Ahead…. Decide prior to New Year’s Eve…. Don’t make a resolution 10 seconds to midnight…. it shoudn’t be based on impulse. You’ll have a better chance at success if your resolution is well thought out.
3) Devise your Plan…. Know in advance how you will deal with the temtation to deviate from your goal. If your tempted to eat or smoke (or whatever), predetermine a course of action, whether you call someone who has a similar resolution, remove yourself from the environment, or anything that will help maintain your resolve.
4) Write it Down… Always have your goals in writing…. including the positives and negatives…. write the positives on one side and the negatives on the other…. have it with you at all times….. this will help you visualize it.
5) Get a Resolution Buddy…. Find someone you know (friend, neighbor, co worker), who has the same goal…. you can rely on each other for motivation if you are feeling weak…. either way, make it known you have a resolution for the new year…. even if they don’t have one themselves, they can help you keep your resolve.
6) Rewards…Rewards…Rewards…. Reward yourself for reaching pre-determined increments of your goal…. If your trying to quit smoking, don’t have a cigarette, rather reward yourself with something you like. If there is something you really want, but don’t need (and you can afford it), tie it in to your New Year’s Resolution, don’t get it till you earn it!
7) Don’t be to Hard on Yourself…. Don’t beat yourself up for a liitle slip… Remember, it took you time to get in this position…. it will take some time to change it… your now in the process of changing for the better.
8) Write Down your Victories….As you go along towards the goal, record it…. document it, you need to be able to see your success as it unfolds….. If you are close to slipping up, look at your progress chart…. you made it this far…. Almost There!
9) Stick to Your Guns…. It takes time to form a new habit (whether good or bad), At least 3 weeks or so… After that it will get much easier…. The hardest part is making the decision to do something about it… that’s half the battle, right there!
Better than 60% of the people making a New Year’s Resolution make it for at least 2 months. So the numbers are on your side.
If for some reason, you don’t make it…. whatever you do…. START OVER right away…. you do not have to wait till next year to try it again!
GOOD LUCK to everyone who is going to start off the new year with a new attitude! May 2007 bring you all the best!