Be specific (photo: www.freepixels.com).
Good New Year’s resolutions are difficult to make and even more difficult to keep. How can we get these resolutions accomplished instead of repeating the same resolutions year after year? There is no single New Year’s resolution that works for everyone. Still, here are ways to make resolutions that work.
To make New Year’s resolutions that stick, make them specific, measurable, and achievable. Resolutions are really just personal goals, and we can use proven goal setting techniques.
Let's take a goal we have all heard before: "I want to lose weight this year."
1. Specific: The vague “I want to lose weight this year” becomes the specific “I want to lose 20 pounds by May.” It now is a clear quantifiable amount.
2. Measurable: You can measure your progress by weighing in regularly each week. There is no guessing. The amount lost is tracked by stepping on the scale.
3. Achievable: Most of all, it is achievable. "By May." A realistic time frame was chosen. Realistic goals are more likely to succeed than unrealistic ones.
Now, what is the secret to assure your personal New Year's resolution success? In studies of why some people can achieve their goals and others do not, the secret of the successful goal achievers is to establish contingency plans at the time the goal is made. For example, if the resolution is to exercise three times per week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, then the contingency plan might be to exercise early Saturday morning if one of those regular days is missed! Set up your contingency plan at the outset and you will have an important tool to achieve success.
You can make New Year's resolutions that work for you. Use resolutions to help you focus on your priorities. With specific, measurable, achievable goals that include backup plans for life's surprises, you can move yourself in the direction you want to go.