Happy New Year!
There’s something magical about the idea of having a fresh start. A clean slate, a new you – however you want to look at it, the mental space of a brand-new year is a wonderful thing. In spite of the magic, however, statistics tell us that about 90 percent of resolutions are broken and discarded within a few weeks, leaving us depressed, frustrated and stuck in our old ruts.
Fortunately, those same statistics tell us that most of the time it isn’t us that’s the problem – it’s our resolutions. Did you know that how you structure your resolution can make a huge difference in how likely you are to follow through with it? It’s true!
Check out these science- and psychology-based tips and tricks for building a resolution that actually works!
- Pick something that matters to you. Resolutions you made because you “felt like you should” or because “everyone else was doing it” are doomed to fail. Ask yourself what dreams and goals are near and dear to your heart and go from there.
- Start small. If you want big change, start with baby steps and stack them over time. Going too big too fast is a recipe for failure.
- Use science to your advantage. There are lots of ways to do this, but here’s a favorite: pair a new habit you want to start with something you’re already doing without fail. For example, if you wanted to think of five things to be grateful for every day, you could decide to do it while you’re brushing your teeth every day. (Yes, it’s a silly example, but you get the point!)
- Don’t start from scratch when you fail. When you slip up (because sooner or later we all do), don’t throw in the towel or feel like you have to wait for another “special” date to try again or start over from the beginning. Pick up right where and when you are and move forward!! Glitches don’t have to completely derail you unless you let them.
- Get help. Humans are social beings. (Even us introverts, much as we hate to admit it.) Get a buddy, a support group – whatever’s best for your situation, but don’t feel like you have to go it alone! Everybody needs cheerleaders (and sometimes a friend to give you a push).
- Change the plan if it isn’t working. Life is an experiment. It’s entirely possible that once you get rolling with your resolution, goal, or game-plan you’ll realize it’s not the right one – or the best one – for you. If that happens, it’s okay! You haven’t failed – you’ve learned! Change the plan and move on!
How does your resolution stack up?