On January 1, millions of people will make New Years resolutions. Most of them will fail. Here are three tips to help you succeed in 2015.
A new year, a new you. It’s a pleasing, hopeful thought that most of us cling to after two months of high-calorie consumption with friends and family.
So we make a New Years resolution. Almost always, our resolutions are aligned to improve our physical health in some way: eat healthier, exercise more, get better sleep. We might also make resolutions to benefit our emotional and intellectual needs: never miss a child’s soccer game, or read a book a month. But when’s the last time you made it to summer and were still committed to your resolution? According to a recent study at The University of Scranton, just 40 percent of people will still be going strong come June.
If you would like to be among this elite minority of self-improvers, here are a few tips that will serve you well along the way:
1. Think Small
It’s always tempting to make a resolution that will transform you by the end of next year. But the reality is that it’s much easier to say you will get up at 5 a.m. each morning to hit the treadmill than it is to actually do it. Only make a resolution that is attainable. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up for failure.
2. Give Yourself a Break
If you cheat on your diet or skip a day of exercise, go easy on yourself. Keep in mind that this is a personal goal. If you really want to see progress, you’ll dust yourself off and get back on the wagon. Resist falling into a defeatist mindset and throwing in the towel after a small setback.
3. Visualize, Focus, and Commit
Understand that any resolution–even the small, incremental ones–require constant dedication to achieve. First, visualize yourself doing what you set out to do (or not do). What environmental changes will this require? More often than not, what might seem like one resolution is actually many resolutions packaged together. Break them down and map them out. Then, focus every day on your behavior and remind yourself why you chose to do this. It’s a daily commitment of energy and will, but stay positive and you can absolutely stick to your New Years resolution!