Keeping your New Year’s Resolutions

right-new-yearDo you want to make a change in your life ? Many people think that the new year is the best time to do so. But just making resolutions are not enough, keeping them is the key.

Estimations show that approximately 50 percent of the population makes resolutions each New Year. Among the most popular resolutions those that top the list are losing weight, exercising, saving money, stopping smoking, followed by getting organized, work life balance etc  .

When one looks at the success rate of New Year resolutions made by people, the results are not very encouraging. Various studies done on this subject show that New Year resolutions just do not work. Interestingly, only 75% of resolutions continue through the month of January and only 46% make it past June. The end result being that only 8% of resolutions really succeed ultimately.

Looking at the success rate of keeping resolutions the question arises as to – why so many people do not keep to and succeed in fulfilling their resolutions ?

According to Timothy Pychyl a professor of Psychology at Carleton University resolutions are a form of “cultural procrastination” an effort to reinvent oneself. People make resolutions as a way of motivating themselves. However people aren’t really ready to change their habits, particularly bad habits, and that accounts for the high failure rate. Another reason, says Dr. Avya Sharma of the Canadian Obesity Network, is that people set unrealistic goals and expectations in their resolutions and are therefore unable to meet them.

Keeping the above in mind, if you are still serious and feel motivated enough to make New Year’s resolutions, you will find some key points below to leverage your outlook and help you to make them work.

  1. FOCUS : That is the key and it is best to focus on one resolution, rather than trying to do to many. Translate your resolution into a SMART goal. For example if your resolution just states, ‘LOSING WEIGHT’ that is not a SMART GOAL However if you state your resolution as ‘LOSING 5 kg in 3 months that would be a clear-cut yardstick to measure yourself against.
  2. SMALL STEPS : Define your resolution stepwise in achievable bits so that as you keep completing a step at a time you will be encouraged to move further. A main reason many people give up is that their goal is too big requiring a lot of effort and action all at once; which they cannot handle.
  3. PARTNER : Having a friend or spouse with you is also key to achieving many resolutions, esp, losing weight, exercising etc. A sense of companionship and competition comes in and you tend to encourage the other to work towards achieving your joint goal.
  4. BUDDY : At work one draws up goals with one’s Manager and is accountable to him/her. For your other resolutions having a friend or companion, to whom you have to report; would be a good option. One can review position, reset goals as required or obtain advice which maybe helpful towards overall achievement.
  5. CELEBRATE : Never neglect motivating yourself by celebrating your successes as you achieve each step of your goal. Don’t wait till the end when the goal is finally completed. You need to keep yourself encouraged to continue on the path you have set for yourself.
  6. CONCENTRATE: Centre your thinking on your newly acquired behaviors and adapt your thought patterns accordingly. You have to create focal point and develop a new habit in your brain to change your life accordingly.
  7. BE AWARE: Being attentive to your physical, emotional and mental state will help you succeed. Keep the present in mind, and focus on the one thing you can do today, right now, towards achieving your goal.

Finally, most important to achieve success is that you don’t take yourself so seriously that it becomes a chore. Enjoy working towards your set goals, have fun focusing on them and laugh at yourself if your happen to slip up. But get up and on track again and don’t let the lapse hold you back from working towards and achieving your goal.True life change only takes root when your goals are short-term, simple,  and made in conjunction and with support of others.

Wishing you a very happy, blessed and fruitful 2017 filled with lasting life change ……

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