7 Ways to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick
The New Year is here, and gyms will be filled with well-intentioned people chanting the “This year is going to be different” mantra. The sad reality is that by March the regulars will have their gyms back and the rest of us will be settling into our old routines and getting ready for the next New Year.
Well this time is going to be different because I’m here to give you the armor you need to be the next great success story with 7 tips that are sure to make your goals more realistic and attainable.
- Write it all down
According to a study done by professor John Norcross at the University of Scranton, people who write down their goals are 10x more likely to achieve them than people who only make mental notes of them. In the study after 6 months 46% of the people who wrote the goals down were successful at changing their behavior as opposed to the 4% that were successful but didn’t formalize the process by writing it down.
- Make S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Now that you’ve written down what you want to accomplish take it a step further and analyze them against the SMART test. Are your goals Simple? Can the progress be Measured? Are they Attainable and Realistic in the specific Time you’ve given yourself to get there? If the answer is no to any of these questions then start the process over.
- Start With One Thing
Changing your behavior usually involves changing several behaviors at once in order to accomplish the goal. If your resolution is to lose weight then that means that you have to change your eating, sleeping, shopping, cooking, exercising, work and social habits. That is a lot of change happening just to accomplish one goal and trust me, that work load is enough. It takes an average of 66 days of consistent behavior to develop a new habit. Give yourself 90 days to work on developing the new routine before moving on to the next goal.
“It takes an average of 66 days of consistent behavior to develop a new habit. Give yourself 90 days to work on developing the new routine before moving on to the next goal.” – Temple
- Stretch Your Goals Out
Now that you know that it takes a solid two months to make a new routine a habit you can feel more comfortable about stretching your goals out over a longer period of time. This one change will increase your success rate and it takes the mental pressure off to get it all done at once. Stretching them out also is an exercise in grace for yourself. You are human. There will be setbacks. Give yourself time to deal with it and make course corrections along the way.
- Take Time to Celebrate Victories Large and Small
Your resolution is a project that needs to be managed and is thus subject to the rules and pitfalls of project management. Jim Benson, co-author of Personal Kanban states that there are 3 ways that projects get into trouble. 1. Having a rigid definition of success. 2. Failure worship. Unfortunately as part of our programming we go looking for failure and we ignore success because we view it in light of the failures instead of the other way around and lastly 3. Success blindness (see Failure Worship). Your new challenge is to break the programming and start celebrating your victories, large and small and watch the power of success multiplying itself. Celebrate incremental victories! Take credit for a job well done, and do it even better the next time!
- Get Active Socially or Pick a Buddy
The people closest to us are highly influential in our lives. Taking on tasks and accomplishing goals together creates a sense of community and relatability that you cannot build on your own. In a study conducted by Dominican University of California psychology professor Gail Mathews it was shown that individuals who shared goals and activities with their friends were 33% more successful than those that didn’t. These shared gals and tasks can create accountability through positive competition and offer more opportunities to celebrate those incremental victories.
- Change Your Mood
Zig Ziggler famously quotes “Your attitude determines your altitude.” So make an effort to engage in activities that brighten your mood. Learn how to meditate. Remove all negative influences from your life whether they be people, places, or things. Make a list of your accomplishments and celebrate them. Watch funny movies or get out to the local comedy club. Most importantly, find ways to be a positive influence in someone else’s life so that you’re building up positive energy that can be reflected back at you.
About the Author:
Twin Cities area author and founder of the Temple Global Consulting Group, Amazon.com & Morgan James bestselling author Keith “Temple” Trotter started off as a successful finance and operations manager. His life changed forever when a photo of him weighing 386 pounds showed up in his Facebook timeline. Since then he has lost over 160 pounds and his incredible journey has been featured in The Huffington Post, on Dish Network and CNN.com, along with countless radio interviews. Temple is passionate about helping others lose weight and make sustainable, transformative change in their lives. You can connect with Temple on Facebook on Twitter @TempleTrotter at www.100smallsteps.com or the blog at www.100smallstepsblog.com