Statistics say that only 8 percent of people that make resolutions keep them. So to be in with a chance you’ll need to keep your sights small. Figure out which resolutions you’re most likely to keep and ditch the ones that aren’t realistic. For instance, if ‘change my job’ has been on the list for five years and nothing’s happened then you might want to look at study options or starting a new hobby instead. Putting your resolutions on paper or jotting them down in an online note is also a good way to make them more real and actionable than if they’re just in your head.
Focus on one or two
How do you eat an elephant? With a spoon! Having 10 or more resolutions can be a bit overwhelming and a sure fire way to achieving none of them. Whittle down the list to one or two, and focus your energy on one change at a time. Make the first step so easy that even a person with no will power could do it. For example, if you want to cut back on sugar, the first step could be to have one less teaspoon in your coffee for a week.
Give yourself time
It takes at least three weeks to break an old habit so don’t be disheartened after a few days. Aim for two months to fully set the new resolution in place. After this time, it’ll feel much easier to keep it, whether it’s going for a morning run or cutting out coffee. If you’re feeling unmotivated, think about the positive benefits of the change rather than telling yourself off for breaking it. For example “I feel guilty for having a coffee tonight” to “I always sleep so much better without coffee”.
Review and adjust
Your resolution may not be an easy one. Giving up smoking, getting fit or losing weight are generally top of the list for many people, but they’re among the hardest ones to stick to. It’s helpful to review progress after a couple of months to see what you’re doing right and what could be adjusted. For instance, if you’ve been invited out to dinner a lot then perhaps you could reciprocate by choosing a restaurant with healthy meal options.
Celebrate your success
If you can well and truly tick your resolution off the list, then be sure to reward yourself with a treat. After all, there’s nothing like positive reinforcement to ensure your resolution is here to stay! If you cut down on drinking coffee, obviously it’s best not to celebrate with a flat white. But however you choose to celebrate, just make sure it’s not something you don’t have to make a New Year’s Resolution for next year!