Sticking To Your Resolutions

Make your goals a regular part of your life

It happens every year, you spend time reflecting and making resolutions but they never quite hold — until now!

Most New Year’s resolutions are broken very quickly, but why strive to better yourself only on January 1? Shouldn’t this goal be a regular part of our lives?

NAU Psychology Professors, Tom Filsinger, weighs in on how you can make and stick to your resolutions this year!

The Facts

Approximately 40% of people make New Year’s resolutions. Of those people 23% already fail in one week and that number goes up to 50% within three months. And after two years, well, forget it. A full 81% abandon the resolution. Discouraging isn’t it?

On a more positive note, nearly 20% of people are in fact successful with their New Year’s resolutions after two years.

That’s a lot of people improving themselves! The fact is, people who at least attempt to make positive changes in their lives are more likely to do so than people that don’t try in the first place.

Image for post
Image for post

But what are the keys to success?

Here is a short list of strategies that will make you more likely to succeed with New Year’s resolutions — as well as any long-term attempts to change your behavior for the better!

For starters the key is persistence. People who succeed in life have this trait; they don’t give up after setbacks. Resolutions won’t be a clear and straight road. There will be setbacks. Getting back on track is the key to success.

1. Set realistic goals

Vague goals usually don’t cut it, like, “I will exercise more.” You need to be more specific. If you aren’t exercising at all, then it should start with, say, exercising twice a week, and then working your way up to more.

2. Keep track of how you’re doing

Mark your progress on a calendar or a journal along the way. Keep your progress organized with silly smiley faces or stickers of your choosing when you are successful. This will help keep you focused.

3. Reward yourself for success

When you have completed a month or a couple months successfully, buy yourself that thing you always wanted just for the sole reason that you are meeting your resolution goals.

4. Tell people about your resolution(s)

This will help make your publicly accountable for your successes and, if you have the right kinds of friends, they will encourage you to be persistent and they will support you. There’s nothing like good friends (or family) to support your efforts.

5. Make one resolution at a time

One reason resolutions fail is because people try to do too much and get overwhelmed. Focus on one and then when you are being successful add another one.

Success in one area breeds confidence to do more.

6. You don’t have to improve yourself just on January 1

If a New Year’s resolution fails, pick another milestone day and start over. It may be your birthday or perhaps if you move to a new place, which can be seen to symbolize a new life and new ways of doing things.

Changing yourself for the better can happen any time, but if you apply the principles above you will have greater chances for success.

And don’t give up! Researchers find that even people that are successful with resolutions have setbacks.

The difference is they don’t let failure get them down and they redouble their efforts.

They are persistent.

Written by

It’s always a great day to be a Lumberjack! Join the conversation and share your #NAU story.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store