Did you know that only 8% of Americans that create a New Year’s resolution successfully achieve it?
To that I say: Forget New Year’s resolutions. Well, at least in the traditional sense. With things like “Fall in love” and “Enjoy life to the fullest” making the top ten list for resolutions made in 2012, it’s no wonder the success rate is so low; that’s a lot a pressure to put on a New Year’s resolution!!
So what can you do instead? Here’s a list of 5 ways to create New Year’s resolutions that last:
1. Focus on lasting change
The number one New Years resolution for 2012 was “To lose weight.” Usually, this is followed-up with an impulsive purchase of a new gym membership and a new hardcore dietary regiment to stave off the guilt lingering from weeks of holiday parties. But instead of focusing on losing weight, why not focus on making longterm healthy dietary changes, or finding a type of exercise that you enjoy and that won’t seem like a chore to do?
When creating your resolution, rather than making impulsive decisions based out of guilt, shame, and regret, focus on longterm, sustainable growth instead.
2. Be specific
Saying you want “to lose weight” isn’t helpful at all! The more clear you can be about what you’re really trying to achieve, the better.
So, instead of saying that your resolution is “to lose weight,” why not say something like, “I’d like to change my diet by adding more vegetables, which will also help me to lose weight.” A little long winded, but much more tangible!
3. Live in the moment
Every moment offers an opportunity to change and grow. If you want to change something, start today! If it doesn’t change by tomorrow, start again! And again. And again. Until it sticks!
So, you want to lose weight but simply couldn’t resist eating that bowl of freshly made chocolate gelato? That doesn’t mean you have to give up on your New Year’s resolution! It also doesn’t mean you’ve failed! Just try again tomorrow.
4. Make short term resolutions
Set short, realistic goals with end dates that are within reach. For example, instead of saying “I’m going to lose 20 pounds this year,” say something like, “I’m going to lose 2 pounds by the end of January.” And remember to be specific about how you plan on doing that!
Once you’ve achieved your goal, create a new one. It’s far less overwhelming and much easier to follow through with a short term goal.
5. Find support
Surrounding yourself with like-minded people will help you achieve whatever it is you set your mind to. This is essential to create lasting change.
Oh, and make sure you distance yourself from all those sabotagors! You know, all those people that say they support your new lifestyle changes, but then pressure you into going out to eat rather than pushing you to follow through with your plan to go to yoga!
The start of a new calendar year is an excellent time to introduce changes into your life. But don’t set yourself up for failure! If you really want to create lasting change, take the time to develop a sustainable, attainable New Year’s resolution.