5 Ways To Keep Your New Year's Resolutions
Making a new year's resolution is a worthy goal. There is nothing wrong with trying to improve yourself. Unfortunately, it has been estimated that 80 percent of people fail in keeping their new year's resolutions. Here are five tips to make your resolutions a reality.
Set Realistic Goals
Cutting all the sugar out of your diet may be an admirable goal, but is it something you can actually achieve? In order to stick with your resolution, it has to be realistic. Goals need to be specific, measurable and manageable. For example, instead of drinking sugary soda every day, set a goal to have it twice a week. Now, that is a resolution you can build upon. Additionally, make sure to only work on one goal at a time. Attempting to change too many behaviors at once is a recipe for failure.
The transtheoretical model of change says that, in order for you to successfully change a behavior, you must be in the proper mental state. Becoming more self-aware can help you reach the appropriate level of readiness. Ask yourself the following questions: Why do you want to change this behavior? What are the consequences—for you and others—if you accomplish your goals? How would this change fit with the person you want to be? If you are having trouble with these questions, confer with a friend, family member or therapist for help.
Tell Other People
Letting other people know that you have made a new year's resolution serves a couple of purposes. First, it allows friends and family to give you support in reaching your objectives. Second, the knowledge that other people are aware of your goals helps hold you accountable for your behavior. For instance, you are less likely to order that Dr. Pepper if you know your friend is going to give you the stink eye.
Positive reinforcement increases the probability that you will continue a certain behavior. So, when you meet a particular goal, give yourself a reward. Just make sure your prize furthers your objective. It is not wise to reward yourself with a Milky Way if you are trying to reduce your sugar intake.
Introducing a new behavior into your life is not easy. You may have setbacks. Almost everyone slips up when they are trying to make a new action permanent. Instead of beating yourself up, understand that mistakes are normal and encourage yourself to get back in the game. If you are having difficulty staying positive look to your support system for help.