Okay, another New Year has come and gone. So now what? It's time to make another New Year's resolution! Many people feel that resolutions are made to be broken and there are a ton of articles offering advice on everything from How Not to Break Your New Year’s Resolution to Why It’s Good to Break New Year’s Resolutions. An article titled The Psychology Behind Why We're so Bad at Keeping New Year's Resolutions says:
About 80% of people fail to stick to their New Year's resolutions for longer than six weeks.
Most resolutions involve trying to be healthier in some way.
Psychological reasons we don't succeed include overthinking how arduous our resolutions will be, and leaving ourselves mental get-out clauses.
Anyone care to raise their hand for Nr. 3? Be honest, we are all guilty of this one. Let’s say you make a New Year’s resolution to walk your dog every evening. Seems like a good idea, right? Besides, you've been meaning to lose those extra pounds you put on last New Year and Fido will also love the walks. The only difference is this year you mean business. You don’t know what happened last year, but this year will be the period that nothing, short of a time machine taking you back to when you were 10 pounds lighter, will prevent you from succeeding.
According to the article Six Secrets Of People Who Keep Their New Year's Resolutions people who keep their resolutions (even for years) have certain characteristics in common:
Their Resolutions Revolve Around Small Changes
One gentleman has kept the same resolution for the past 10 years: he makes one improvement every day, such as listening to audio books or removing apps from his smartphone that don’t improve his efficiency. “Being small, it has been easy to stick to but pivotal in my personal development and the growth of my business,” he says. “I figured that if you improve by 1% everyday, you will improve by 365% over a year. The changes you can make in a year through one small improvement are huge.”
ME: The key is to "make one improvement every day" which makes sense, if you have the discipline to pull it off. This mindset is definitely workable for those who are used to finishing what they start and have enough foresight to see the potential rewards.
They Write Down the Resolution Every Day
According to the article, three years ago a rabbi made a New Year’s resolution to share valuable information and engage with his social media and website visitors in order to double his following. "He believes he’s been successful because he writes his goal down every morning in his journal. “I don’t believe that simply making a mental or written statement at the beginning of the calendar year is enough to keep your goals fresh and in front of you,” he says, adding that transforming a resolution into reality takes much more action than that.
ME: Sure, this method can certainly work for some individuals; however, regardless of how often you write down your resolution, if you don't make the additional effort to accomplish your goals, it's simply a piece of paper with words on it!
They Have a Strong Why
One individual they used as an example said that she’s kept her New Year’s resolution because her “why” is stronger than her “why not.” She goes on to say “List why you’re doing this and what you don’t like about your life right now so that you always have a reference point, a why, and can see your progress,” she suggests. “Then recognize potential barriers, and plan ways to overcome them before they happen.”
ME: This makes a lot of sense. Still, you can't control everything and life is full of surprises. If you can accept that, you are less likely to be discouraged during setbacks. Sometimes "why not" can be just as beneficial.
Their Resolutions Benefit Others
Another person successful at keeping his resolution believes it's because it has nothing to do with him. “Through a relatively small action, I am able to make the workplace much more convenient and friendly,” he says. “People hear so many ‘no’s’ in life; it is a refreshing and welcomed change to hear ‘yes,’ specifically at the workplace.”
ME: This is a wonderful gesture. Then again, it shouldn't take a resolution to make us think of others in all that we do. It's not about always putting others first, it's the awareness that we are all one and interconnected.
They Make Failure Difficult
When one individual, an author and personal development coach, made a resolution in 2016 to exercise more, she made good on her promise by getting a dog. “And now I’m pretty much forced to take a 20-30 minute walk at least twice a day,” she says, adding that it helps to do something that will not take a lot of effort and maybe even be embarrassing to wriggle out of.
ME: This can work, if you enjoy animals. If it's simply to keep you inline and the poor animal is simply a prop, well, shame on you.
Click on the link to read the complete article and Happy New Year!