Did you know that less than ten percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions stick to them or that most people give up after the first week? Even with such a low success rate, resolutions do work for some people. What are these resolution champions doing that we can learn from?
To stay motivated and attain your goals throughout the year, consider trying out the following six ways to keep your New Year’s resolution.
- Be realistic and make it tangible. Focus on one goal at a time. Instead of choosing numerous, ambiguous goals like “Lose weight,” “Save money,” and “Run a marathon,” think of one specific goal such as “Save $1,000 for our trip to Monterey in October.” Check in with a trusted friend to see if they think your goal is realistic.
- Keep it simple and take baby steps. Start out small and build on your success. If you’re planning to lose weight, ease into your new diet and workout routine. Cutting out your favorite food item completely or suddenly working out five days a week instead of just one could cause you to burn out quickly and stray from your end goal. Create short term milestones and if you fail at any of these small steps, brush it off—it’s part of the process.
- Ask for support. Telling someone about your plan will help you stay accountable. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You may even find a buddy who is working towards the same goal.
- Track your progress. Write down your goal and the steps you’re taking to get there. Check in with yourself or your accountability buddy each month and make any adjustments needed to stay on track. Seeing how you’ve progressed will help keep you motivated.
- Keep believing and be patient. Remind yourself that nothing happens overnight. Research shows that it takes about 21 days to form a habit or routine. Be patient and persevere. Persistence pays off.
- Put yourself first. For some of us, this may not be easy. Life gets in the way and we’re pulled in so many directions, but if you truly want to achieve your goals, you need to put yourself first. Who knows? Working on and achieving your goals may just help your friends and loved ones take better care of themselves as well.