The New Year is the perfect time to break from the past and start fresh. Thus, the creation of New Year’s resolutions. And how long do those resolutions last? One study determined that less than half of all people keep their New Year’s resolutions beyond six months; only 75 percent maintain them through the first week! So if you are serious about your New Year’s resolutions, here are some ways you can nurture and maintain these changes in behavior.
Top Five New Year’s Resolutions for 2016
Before we get to how to keep your resolutions, it would be interesting to see if your resolution(s) is in the top five of last year’s resolutions.
- Staying fit 36 percent
- Losing weight 32 percent
- Spending less, saving more 29 percent
- Enjoying life to the fullest 27 percent
- Spending more time with family 20 percent
Anyone surprised by the top five resolutions? They are predictable and straight-forward.
Five Considerations to Help Maintain your New Year’s Resolutions
Willpower is an amazing attribute. Don’t treat it as an infinite resource, but as a fallible one that benefits from flexibility. To help your willpower, try not to make extreme, 100 percent resolutions, “I will never eat chocolate again.” Instead, create a resolution such as, “I will only eat chocolate on my birthday and on Easter.”
Write Your Resolutions Down
It has been shown in studies that writing down one’s goals increases the odds of achieving them. Once you write down your New Year’s resolutions, post them in a place where you will see them every day. Additionally, share your resolutions with loved ones. They can be a source of encouragement when you are about to backslide.
Keep a Record of Progress
Once you set a resolution, create a progress chart so you can actively check off days or tasks. This subtle reinforcement can boost confidence and motivation.
No One is Responsible for You but You
There is something very empowering when you accept the fact that your actions and achievements are the result of your choices. Understanding you have control over your life provides the willpower needed for change. Those who blame others, or circumstances, fall prey to the belief that change is beyond them. You can achieve your resolution because you and only you are at the helm.
As humans, significant goals over long periods of time become hard to envision completing. Therefore, every goal should be divided into smaller segments. These segments can be envisioned, and therefore, more likely attained. Then record your progress, mark off your success, and prepare for the next “chunk”.
Never Stop “Resolutioning”
How many of you have met someone that successfully quit smoking after multiple attempts? This person’s failure to quit each time was disappointing, but for some reason he or she insisted on trying again. The same goes for resolutions. Regardless of how many times you have failed, it does not mean you should give up entirely. Success is around the corner. Use the tips above to help. Your health and happiness will always be worth another shot.
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