With the New Year upon us, many of us will participate in that grand tradition of making New Year’s Resolutions, spurred on by hope and commitment, only to give up days later – there’s always next year!
Why are New Year’s Resolutions so short-lived and how can we help you to make yours a success story?
In a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, 45% of the subjects confirmed that they regularly make resolutions for change, but only 8% report reaching their goals.
Most of us fail in our resolutions because we make them in a rather spontaneous, emotional moment. We state our overall goal, but we don’t really spend any time thinking about the specific steps we need to achieve that goal. We don’t identify any obstacles to that goal and we have no strategy for overcoming these obstacles. Your plan for change should include all of these details.
Many of us forget why we even decided to set this resolution in the first place and our motivation quickly dies, making change hard to maintain. Take some index cards and write down the positive things that will happen if you stick to this resolution. Leave these written statements around the house and at work to help motivate you.
It’s rare for many of us to perfectly maintain a change in our lives. There is usually a return to the old behaviour, and this is normal and to be expected. It’s not a reason to give up on the resolution and think you have failed. Recommit to your resolution, renew your focus on your goal, and read your motivational cards again.
Many of us work in isolation on our resolutions. Instead, let your friends and family know what your goal is, what steps you are taking, and how they can help and support you.
Most often our goals are too big, vaguely defined or hopelessly unrealistic. Take the one-step-at-a-time approach, and build upon each success.
Find a friend or family member you can trust to share your goal. This person can support you when the going is good, but also challenge and motivate you when you start to slip and waver.
If your New Year’s resolution is motivated by others and you find yourself saying something like – “My husband thinks I should lose weight” – you are setting yourself up for failure. Make a resolution that is important to you and you alone that has positive benefits.
The power of the imagination is often underappreciated. If you constantly visualize yourself having completed your resolution, it will create its own momentum for drawing you to that successful, final outcome.
Making New Year’s resolutions is something that should excite you and we hope these eight strategies will help you reach your goals with success. If you need extra support, you can always call us at 1-866-833-7690 or visit Workhealthlife.com to connect to one of our counsellors online.