New Year’s resolutions are a great idea... in theory. In practice, they’re not usually so great. How many of your New Year’s resolutions have been as life-changing as you’d hoped they’d be? How many did you actually follow through with? Sudden, drastic changes don’t tend to stick very well, making most resolutions a set-up for failure. Instead of making a yearly resolution, why not work toward real, sustainable change? Improve the chances of succeeding by writing down goals, adopting a growth mindset, taking baby steps and rewarding each small success along the way. Get the details on these goal-reaching strategies in the article below.
Sometimes, just putting it down in writing has the power to ignite change. Research has shown that listing specific goals along with strategies to achieve them may help build the motivation to take the first steps toward real, lasting change. Write about the change in detail, listing specifics. And don’t set the bar too low; higher goals are actually more likely to be achieved.
We humans need to believe we’re capable of change before we can make it possible, and proclaiming a New Year’s resolution isn’t likely to help with that. Try adopting a growth mindset instead. This self-improvement tactic is all about having faith in the ability to learn and evolve, knowing you have it in you to realize your goals. Seek out challenges with a can-do attitude, even if you feel a little intimidated, and embrace obstacles as part of the process rather than seeing them as deterrents.
Change is a process. New Year’s resolutions may fail so often because we expect to make a massive change overnight, failing to consider that multiple factors go into replacing bad habits with good ones. For example, a heavy smoker or vaper might find quitting cold-turkey less effective than developing a game plan, devising steps to cut back over time before ending the habit once and for all. Tackle change with a game plan, steps mapped out (and written down) and then move through each systematically over time to build your way into a habit.
Research has shown we need immediate rewards every once in a while if we want to stay motivated enough to continue reaching toward our long-term ones. Keep focus forward, but make sure there are plenty of milestones to celebrate along the way to keep it interesting.
Want to build a smoothie habit? Drink it before that morning coffee that you've been having every day for decades and you might have greater success. By relating habits to existing routines, we're more likely to follow through. It's called habit stacking and research says it really works.
This New Year’s Eve, maybe we should all skip the resolution and have a game plan for how to make the new year count, instead. Let's aim for goals over resolutions and approach them with greater intention and preparedness so that this year, we can be whatever we were hoping to be last year.