It’s that time of year again……
If you make New Years resolutions how many times have you stuck to your goal?
Many of us will make a New Year’s resolution – perhaps to lose weight, quit smoking, eat more vegetable or to drink less – but statistics say only one in 10 of us will achieve our goal.
Professor Richard Wiseman, of the University of Hertfordshire, tracked 5,000 people who set New Year’s resolutions, as they tried to reach their goals. His findings showed that the road to success was easier for those who broke their resolution down into smaller goals. Making these smaller steps specific, measurable and time-based really helped. Those that didn’t plan and program little steps soon faltered, as their goal felt like a mountain to climb
Adopting role models, fantasising about your goal or relying on willpower alone may not be enough.
Consider making a plan and helping yourself stick to it.
Here are some tips to achieving your New Year’s resolution:
- Make only one resolution. Your chances of success are greater when you channel energy into changing just one aspect of your behaviour.
- Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to think about your resolution. Start to reflect now on what you really want to achieve.
- Break your goal into a series of steps, focusing on creating sub-goals that are specific, measurable and time-based.
- Tell your friends and family about your goals. You’re more likely to get support and want to avoid failure, if you feel a sense of accountability.
- Regularly remind yourself of the benefits associated with achieving your goals by creating a checklist of how life would be better once you obtain your aim. Regular affirmations of how good you will feel when you reach your goal can really help to keep you on track.
- Reward yourself whenever you achieve a sub-goal, to maintain motivation and a sense of progress.
- Record your plans and progress in a handwritten journal, computer spreadsheet or by photo-diary.
- Finally, accept that you may revert to your old habits from time to time. Don’t be too hard on yourself, or give-up altogether. Treat any failure as a temporary setback, pick yourself up and carry on.
By Fiona Parkin