If you Google the phrase “New Year Resolution” right now, about 81.5 million results will pop up, all available for your perusal. No doubt, New Year resolution is a topic of great importance to lots of people.
For those of us who make New Year resolutions, we know how fast they fade or how difficult it is to stick with them. In fact, thousands of studies claim over 92% of New Year resolutions fail: 80% of people break their resolutions, 60% don’t make them and 80% 0f those who make them have forgotten about them by mid-February!
Although these statistics might be true, a lot of people still bring about massive changes in their lives. Fact is New Year resolutions work. You just need to know the secrets. Below are 5 factors that will help you stick to them but before we talk about them, you need to understand the difference between A Goal and A Resolution.
The goal is a target, the desired result that you wish to achieve within a specified period. A Resolution is a decision or determination that you hold consistently for a long time; a very strong intention.
Goals can be long or short term. They are specific, measurable and always backed with a plan.. Resolutions are long term, general, vague and are supposed to be firmly kept.
•Examples 1: “Exercising 1 hour every day or jogging 3 times a week” is a goal.
“Exercising or keeping fit this year” is a resolution.
•Example 2: “Saving 20% of my income and investing 10% every month” is a goal.
“Increase savings, spend more time with family, quit smoking,” are all resolutions.
With this understanding, go ahead and make your resolutions work for you:
~THINK BIG~START SMALL
According to research one of the fastest killers of New Year resolutions are unrealistic goals and expectations. People as a result of the excitement of crossing over into a new year make unrealistic promises. The secret to that great future is to start small. No newborn comes into the world a grown man. Think big but start small. Have a big vision but start with baby steps.
You stand to benefit a lot when you follow up your intentions immediately with some small but strong actions. No time is wasted, you’ll make mistakes anonymously, you won’t be easily overwhelmed by the magnitude of what you have to do, etc. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a step. If you consistently take the small steps, the big steps will automatically follow.
~~PLAN FOR FAILURE
Never throw in the towel after a small relapse…
No matter how hard you prepare, things won’t always go as planned. Life happens: we make mistakes, we fall sick, lose money, etc. These unforeseen circumstances throw us off balance and some never recover. While we don’t pray for the negative, always have a plan B, contingency plan or provision for when we fail. When it rains & you can’t hit the gym, you can plan to crank up the volume of your radio or handset and dance away the cold. That is still keeping fit!
~~CREATE NEW HABITS – DON’T RESIST OLD ONES
Do you desire a change? Start forming good habits that will bring it about instead of struggling to destroy bad ones that prevented it. Why? Because whatever we focus on and resist with energy will persist. Don’t focus on “not eating too much” focus on “eating in a healthy way.” Don’t focus on “stopping procrastination,” focus on “Taking prompt action.”
Neuroscientists tell us that what we do regularly, habitually, creates neural pathways (deep grooves) in our brains which automatically control our behaviors. Unfortunately, once these grooves are made by several years of habit, they die hard. These experts advice growing new habits; create new neural pathways in your brain by focusing on new habits that you want. As your new habits grow, the old ones become weaker and weaker and a new you will emerge. Form new habits consistent with your New Year resolution and it will be a success.
~~HAVE VISION BUDDIES
There are 2 major influences in any man’s life; his thoughts and the people closest to him. Somebody said if you must change a man, change the people next to him first. Association is very powerful and if you want your New Year resolution to work, deliberately search out and connect with your own Vision Buddies (Inner Circle).
These are people who not only travel in the same direction as you but are excited you are headed there. E.g., an adviser who believes your dreams, a coach, friends that have similar desires, accountability partners, etc.
Here is the truth, your associations will help you climb higher or make you crawl lower. Sharing your New Year resolution with wrong people will lead to your downfall. They will mock and taunt you till you fail. You will only fly as high as those you associate with.
~~MAKE YOUR RESOLUTION FEW & FUN
What a lot of people have is a “to-do list” for the year. They have so many New Year resolutions and by the end of the first week, they can barely remember any of them. The secret is to have one or two solid New Year resolutions and look for creative ways to help drill them into your mind.
So, this year make your resolution simple but solid. Get creative with one or two, represent them with an icon, make them fun and by God’s grace, huge success will follow. God believes in you and so do i. Press on.