Psychological research shows that 20% of us that make New Year’s resolutions will succeed in changing our behavior.
Here are four tips to make your resolutions stick:
- Be sure to reward yourself for new behaviors. For example, if you resolved to lose weight be sure to reward yourself with something each time you stick to your calorie count or finish exercise. Choose a reward that supports your resolution and diverts you from your old behavior.
- Avoid situations that will put your resolution at risk. Stick to people, places, and things that support the new you, and make less time for situations that hold you back. Sometimes it’s better to make your resolution known to acquaintances than family because family will tend to ‘let you off the hook’ if you don’t succeed. You might try sharing your resolution with someone whose opinion really matters to you – then you might be less likely to give up.
- If you fall off of the bicycle, don’t quit riding, instead get right back on the bicycle and keep moving forward. When you slip up, don’t get caught in all-or-nothing thinking and decide you lack the willpower to change. Instead, realize that everyone trying to change a behavior will have minor setbacks. It’s more important to get right back on track and view your setback as a bump in the road.
- Focus on keeping your resolution for just six months, then renew your resolution for the rest of the year. You don’t have to keep your resolution forever, but if you can keep it for six months you’ll be ahead of the game. Changing your behavior can be easier when you take it in smaller time chunks. Thinking of your resolution as a change ‘for the rest of my life’ can be daunting and sap your motivation. You can always renew your resolution in July for the rest of this year.
Remember that you are the 1 in 5 people that will successfully change your behavior this year, and that you deserve it.
Consider personal coaching if you would like help achieving all of your goals for this year.