Health & Well-Being, Life's Challenges, Resolutions

I Resolve to (try to) Keep My Resolutions!

January 9, 2017 • By

Start on January 1

Okay … we’re two weeks into the New Year ! Are your resolutions still holding? Well, if not, don’t kick yourself. It appears that only 8% of those who make promises to themselves actually keep them! So how do they do it? Why do some succeed while so many of us fail?

Studies show (yes, there are actually studies done on the “keeping of resolutions”) there are four steps to success:

  1. Keep it Simple
  2. Make it Tangible
  3. Make it Obvious
  4. Keep Believing You Can Do It

KEEP IT SIMPLE: Set small, reasonable goals that can be achieved one step at a time. This time honored “kiss” will remind you:

062112_kiss

MAKE IT TANGIBLE: Your goal/s should be based on rational targets. Not “I’ll lose weight,” but rather “I’ll lose 10 pounds.” Not “I’m going to write my book,” but rather break a larger goal into steps: Step 1: “I’m going to prepare the outline for my book” … and when you reach your first goal, set Step 2: “I’m going to write the introduction or chapter one,” etc. According to John Norcross, Professor of Psychotherapy at the University of Scranton, “We say if you can’t measure it, it’s not a very good resolution because vague goals beget vague resolutions.”

resolution-chart

MAKE IT OBVIOUS: Post a chart of your progress as a daily reminder. Or, like blogger Julia in the movie, JULIE AND JULIA and the original blog: Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, make your pledge public. Use social media and let friends and family know your goal … they can help you keep on track. We all need support from time-to-time and your BFF may be that perfect someone who can keep you from slipping.

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KEEP BELIEVING YOU CAN DO IT: Have faith in yourself! Willpower can carry you through … but here’s something you should know about willpower. Psychological studies show that willpower, a “mind-body reaction to choice,” can get depleted. Fatigue can set it. “A growing body of research shows that resisting repeated temptations takes a mental toll. Some experts liken willpower to a muscle that can get fatigued from overuse.” On the positive side, willpower is a renewable resourse. You can essentially “re-boot” it.  Essentially, if you believe you have the strength to reach your goal, you will. I’m reminded of a quote I learned as a child:  “If you will it, it is no dream.”

will-power

Wishing you all a healthy and happy 2017, and success in keeping your resolutions!