A new year is upon us and you know what that means, right? It's the time of year where we all think about what our New Year's resolution might be, or better yet, how we plan to keep it. Most people have good intentions when it comes to coming up with the resolution, but how many of us actually keep it and achieve the goals we set out to do? Actually, the truth is, nearly 80% of us throw in the towel on our New Year's resolutions by March 1. So, if you need some help staying true to your word, we've got some help for you.
To make your resolution much more effective, try these seven key strategies:
1. Know Your Why: In order for a resolution to stick, it needs to be aligned with your core values. So, if you are thinking of being more charitable this year with your money, good idea in theory, but make sure you know why and pick the charities that hold the most meaning to you.
2. Be Specific: Resolutions like 'eat better' or 'work out more' are nice thoughts, but don't give you a specific goal to shoot for or realistic way to track progress. It would be better to say something like: eat healthy (under 1700 calories) at least three times a week or work out for 30 minutes at least three times a week. These are goals that can be measured and tracked to see if you are staying on target.
3. Don't Think It, Ink It: A Stanford University study found that when people wrote down their goal, it increased their probability of achieving it by over 70%. Write down the goal and keep it in a place that will inspire you to commit to it like on the refrigerator or around your office. If it stares you in the face everyday, it's harder to ignore.
4. Design Your Environment: Create an environment that increases your chances of success. If your goal is to work out using your treadmill, but your treadmill is stored in a cold, dingy basement room with piles of junk on it, it will be hard to be inspired to use it. By pulling the machine out of the basement and putting it in the spare bedroom where it's facing a window will make you more likely to want to use it.
5. Narrow Your Efforts: Don't try to do too many things at once. Try just taking on one goal at a time, and if it is a big one, try even breaking it down into smaller bite size steps to make it easier to swallow.
6. Focus On The Process: Don't get caught up in the initial wave of enthusiasm, only to be letdown when you don't achieve immediate results. If your goal is to get in better shape, start by setting small goals and be happy when you can achieve each small step along your way to achieving your ultimate goal.
7. Forgive Your Failures: Setbacks and failures may happen, but don't let them define your success in the year ahead. How you respond to these setbacks can make a big difference. So, if you miss going to the gym one day because of a scheduling issue, make it up by doing a couple exercises at home.
If these strategies aren't enough to help keep you on track, thanks to modern technology, there is now an 'app for that.' We've found several mobile applications that will help you track your progress and keep you on target if you need the extra motivation. Apps like RunKeeper is one of the most popular apps for runners or there's a website called StickK that actually takes you a step further and lets you create a commitment contract to help you stay on track to meet your goals whether its a physical well being goal, to read more or improve financial situation, this website can help you create a goal that's reachable.