Is 2016 The Year You Start? 8 Tips to Improve Your Chances
It is now here - that year end tradition of promising the universe to do an act of self-improvement that for many people will probably last about 5 minutes. In fact, research has shown that as few as 8% of people who make new year’s resolutions actually manage to keep them. So what is the point of making them?
New Year’s Resolutions
The tradition of starting out the year with a resolution has been around for a while. The Babylonians made promises to their gods to return borrowed things and pay their debts, the Romans made vows to their January God Janus and in medieval times knights took a ‘peacock vow’ to reaffirm their commitment to chivalry. That is a lot of years of people not keeping their new year’s resolutions. Still, most of us will make at least one as the clock strikes midnight on the last day of the year, however serious we may mean it or not.
How To Improve Your Odds
If your resolutions from last new year lasted about as long as your hangover, you're not alone. No matter what your resolution goal is this year, these 8 tips should help you keep it.
1. Be Realistic - You are more likely to succeed if you break your resolution down into small manageable goals that are specific, measurable and time-based. There is no bigger deterrent to achieving your goal than a fail at the first hurdle. Focusing on a series of concrete sub-goals that are easily achievable is the way to go, but be realistic – it is better to over achieve than under achieve in this arena – and reward yourself when you achieve them.
2. Make a Plan – Fail to plan and plan to fail (as the saying goes). It is a lot easier to do stuff when you know what it is you have to do and when. Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to think about your resolution, take some time out a few days before and reflect upon what you really want to achieve.
3. Is It What You Want? – Don’t make a resolution that you think you should want or what other people are telling you to want. Make a resolution that resonates with what you want out of life.
4. Keep Track – make sure you pay attention. Keep track of your progress. Bore your facebook friends to tears with regular updates. (You will find that the majority will actually boost your confidence with every update). This also stops you forgetting about it.
5. Don’t Overdo it! – make one important resolution, not lots of different ones. You have a greater chance of success if you focus on one thing at a time.
6. Don’t Give Up – Seems straightforward enough but nothing is that easy. You will revert to your old habits from time to time – it is human nature – don’t berate yourself too much about it. Treat any backwards step as a temporary setback rather than a reason to give up altogether. Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit and six months for it to become part of your personality. It won’t happen overnight, so be persistent and patient!
7. Keep Trying - If you have totally run out of steam when it comes to keeping your resolution by mid-February, don’t despair. Start over again! Recommit yourself for 24 hours. You can do anything for 24 hours. The 24-hour increments will soon build on each other and, before you know it, you will be back on track.
8. Take The Help – If you want to lose weight, join a weight loss group. If you want to get fitter, join a gym. If you want to quit smoking speak to your doctor and/or get yourself a vape.