How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions?

It’s December 31. And I’m thinking about my new year’s resolutions.

But, resolutions are hard to keep. It seems the moment we flip into the new calendar, plunge into the boxes of January, we are steamrolled and pushed off-course on the highway of life. Completely misguided and counterproductive.

In fact, studies in the UK have shown that most people will break their resolutions NINE days after making them. That means, by January 10, everything is gone and forgotten!

So I wonder, what’s the point?

Apparently, HOPE.

New year’s resolutions give us hope that we can wipe the slate clean, start a new chapter and do better. Unfortunately, hope is merely an intention. A good first step, but hope alone will not sustain through the next 356 days (minus 9 days). Making a new year’s resolution list is the easy part. The hard part is keeping to it.

Here are some ways that people have successfully stuck to their new year’s resolutions for 2013.

Keep your list short, very short. Don’t start listing twenty things you want to change about yourself. It can be very depressing. This year, stick to 1 to 3 points. MAX. This will sharpen your thoughts and energy to focus on your goals.

Give yourself a compelling reason. Most people do up their new year’s resolutions list like a Santa’s Christmas wish list. Instead, think about WHY. Why is this point so important to you that it made your resolution’s list?

Make a plan. Think about HOW. How are you going to achieve what you want to achieve in the new year? Think about WHAT. What do you need to help you attain your goals?

Tell someone. Most times, we keep our resolutions to ourselves because we don’t want to jinx the plan, or have someone remind us that our plan hasn’t fallen through. Instead of keeping our personal resolutions a hush-hush secret, tell someone. Someone who can push us shamelessly without worrying we might get offended or nasty. Like a sibling or a parent. Make them accountable. Yup, you heard me right. This is one of the rare times that we can make someone else accountable for us. 

Word of caution: Personally, I won’t tell a casual friend or a colleague. Resolutions are very personal. And despite their best efforts to help us, sometimes we might feel threatened, embarrassed, harassed and even angry. This may place strain on the friendship. 

Reward yourself. Make sure you reward yourself when you succeed. You need to plan the reward before embarking on your resolutions. This will allow you to maintain the focus towards the finishing point. For example, if you plan to lose weight, think of that figure-hugging sexy pair of GUESS jeans that you are going to buy for yourself when you hit your ideal weight.

Now, doesn’t that sound like a great plan?

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