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Resolving to Succeed

Date: January 8, 2015 Categories: Blog

Numerous on-line sources indicate that less than 10% of Americans achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Fortunately, there are at least as many resources offering suggestions for how resolutions can be achieved. In reviewing a number of these resources, several themes emerged for success:

 

1) Pick something you really do want, not just something you feel like you SHOULD do, and put something on the line to motivate you. For example, make a rule that if you don’t make it to the gym enough times per week, that you’ll take money out of your fun budget.

 

2) Make a short list of attainable goals. If the goals are too hard, you’ll get discouraged. If there are too many of them, you’ll have difficulty tracking your success.

 

3) Make your goals specific and measurable. Don’t say that you want to save money. How much money do you want to save? Why do you want to save it? How long will it take to save?

 

4) Automate or get an app to help you. If you’re going to set aside money, have the bank move the same amount on the same day each month. If you’re working out more, find an app to chart your success.

 

5) Make a plan. You’re more likely to stick with goals that are more about the journey than the destination.

 

6) Have short-term goals to meet your long-term plan. What can you do to get closer to your goal right now? In a week? In a month? This time next year?

 

7) Make time. If you want to eat healthier, leave time to talk to a nutritionist, look up healthy recipes, cook, etc. Meditation, mindfulness and reflection can be helpful for problem solving and goal attainment, but these also require time.

 

8) Have a buddy system or otherwise announce your plans. You’re more likely to stick to your goals if you are checking in with somebody, whether that is a workout buddy or someone else who is rooting for your success.

 

9) Reward your successes appropriately. Don’t blow a ton of money to celebrate your savings success or binge on junk food to celebrate dietary success, but do pick something meaningful to mark the milestone.

 

10) Reassess your resolutions. You may find that your initial goal was overly optimistic or that your success is coming more easily than anticipated. It is okay to modify the plan.

 

11) Don’t beat yourself up and don’t give up. Even if you get discouraged and temporarily make little or no progress, you can always renew your efforts at any time.

 

12) Make a vision board. If you’re saving money to go to Disney World, add pictures of the characters you want to meet, rides you want to take and souvenirs you want to buy. Place it somewhere you’ll see daily.

 

13) Journal your progress. Are you having success? Are you frustrated? When you get frustrated in the future, you might want to look back to see how you got through the current obstacles.

 

14) Plan ahead. If your resolution is to walk 3 miles every day, you might want apps on your phone, a pedometer, music, new shoes, work out clothes or a reusable water bottle. These are not things to problem solving on your way out the door.

 

15) Keep a pros and cons list. What are the good and bad things that can happen if you do keep your resolution? What about if you don’t keep it?

 

We wish you luck on your resolutions and a blessed and happy 2015.