It’s that time of year again. Time to lose that weight that crept on during the holidays. Time to finally clear out the clutter and get organized. Time to spend less, save more, and be frugal. Yep, it’s time to embrace a clean slate and become that new you. But realistically speaking, will your New Year’s resolutions last this time? Have they actually lasted the last few days? According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, a study done by the University of Scranton in indicated only 8% of people who made New Year’s resolutions in 2012 were successful in achieving them. This year, why bother? Throw out the resolutions and focus on solutions.
Identify the problem. What reoccurring problems, conflicts, or situations have you dealt with in the last several years that have left you frustrated, angry, or confused? Take out a sheet of paper and list no more than three problems on the left hand side. Otherwise, you may become overwhelmed and will be more likely to give up before you start.
Examine your own behavior. Are you doing anything to contribute to the problem? If so, are there any changes you can make to improve the situation? If someone or something else is causing the problem, can you do anything about it? If not, can you accept that doing nothing is sometimes the best solution for a situation that is beyond your control?
Brainstorm a list of solutions. Now, take your list of three problems or less, and this time write a list on the right hand side of ways you can fix those situations. Again, list no more than three solutions per problem.
Decide on a course of action. Look closely at your list of solutions, asking yourself how realistic it would be to implement each one. Make a decision based on actions you could honestly follow through with.
Take steps to achieve the solution. Since healthy lifestyle changes rarely happen overnight, work towards your solutions in baby steps each day. Some problems are easier to resolve than others. Encourage yourself when you backtrack and reward yourself as you successfully stay in the solution. Make 2013 the year to toss out your unrealistic goals and work towards achievable solutions!