6 Tips For Making Successful Resolutions

 

Making resolutions stick is all about defining the change you seek.

 

As the New Year gets under way, I’m often asked whether I’ve made any New Year’s Resolutions.  Over time, I’ve discovered 6 sure tips for making a resolution that sticks.

 

1) Write it down. When I write something down the odds are much better I actually mean it so I’ll write this year’s resolutions down on a piece of paper and sign my name right under each one of them.

 

2) Share resolutions with a friend. The more committed I am to a resolution the greater the chance I’ll do it.  I’ve discovered that sharing my resolutions with a close friend or significant other is just as important as writing it down.

 

3) Be specific. The surest way to give up on a resolution is not be specific enough in the first place.  If I plan to put aside some money this year, instead of saying, “I plan to save money,” I’ll want to get more specific.  I might say, “I plan to save $60 a month every month with the goal of ending up with $720 at the end of the year.  I might take it even further: “I will set up my checking account to automatically transfer $60 into savings at the beginning of every month, the day I get my paycheck.

 

Making the new years resolutions.

Hmm…I resolve to eat less junk algae this year.

4) Don’t make too many resolutions. Whenever I overwhelm myself with too many things to do, it’s harder to achieve any of them.  That’s why I set a limit of 4 or 5 resolutions max.  If you’ve never stuck to a resolution before, try doing just one.

 

5) Make resolutions achievable. The surest way for me to fail is create a resolution I can’t possibly achieve in the first place.  If I want to lose 30 pounds, I better have some certainty I can lose that much in a given time frame.  Since I haven’t done a lot of dieting on my own, my best course might be to do some research on weight loss first.  Then, when I decide I know enough, I can set an achievable goal.  For example, “I plan to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week for ten weeks (i.e. 10 to 20 pounds) and will adjust my calories after ten weeks to maintain my new weight.

 

6) Celebrate a win. When I make a resolution and then fail to recognize the moment I’ve achieved it, I’ve missed out on an important personal victory.  This means a part of my resolution should set out the conditions for celebrating my win.  If I hope to lose 10 or 20 pounds in ten weeks, I should decide up front how I might celebrate.  For example, I might decide I’ve earned a shopping trip for a new pair of pants or a trip to my favorite restaurant.  I could also share my win with a friend.

 

In reality, resolutions are just goals we set at the beginning of a new year, which means they don’t have to be big or scary.  It’s helpful to think that with each New Year we start with a blank slate and can achieve something better.  Do you plan to make any resolutions this year?  What’s worked for you in the past?  Why not share in a comment below.

 

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