Should you bother making New Year’s resolutions?

Why do we make New Year’s resolutions? Resolutions are hopes/aims for the coming year, things we would like to change that the previous 12 months didn’t deliver. Apparently making resolutions goes way back in history, starting with the Babylonians some 4000 years ago, who reportedly made promises to the gods in hopes they’d earn good favour in the coming year. They often resolved to get out of debt!

Does that resolution sound familiar? How about these: ‘Losing weight’, ‘exercising more’,  ‘spending less and saving more’, ‘quitting smoking’, ‘being a better person’ – these are year on year the top resolutions people make.

Richard Wiseman, a psychologist and author, discovered that 52 percent of people making New Year’s resolutions were confident they’d stick it out. Yet only a scant 12 percent really did.

If so few of us actually stick to making New Year’s resolutions, why do we bother? If you want to change something in your life why do we wait for a particular time of year? Resolution is just another name for goal, we should all be aiming for something! If the New Year is the best time for you to review your goals then go for it but follow these simple tips below so you keep working on your resolutions/goal’s all the year through!

  1. Realize that New Year’s Day is just another day and that making resolutions on this day is no different from making a resolution on any other day.
  2. Get specific. When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. “Lose 5 pounds” is a better goal than “lose some weight,” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal.
  3. Decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., “If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll work out for 30 minutes before work.”) Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.
  4. Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability… Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, appreciate the journey as much as the destination.
  5. Build your willpower muscle. Your self-control “muscle” is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn’t get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.

 

Remember you are stronger than you know, braver than you believe and smarter than you think you are!

  • Know where you are going!
  • ‘Chunk’ the vision – one step at a time.
  • Have visuals up – vision board (subliminal)

“If you can see it – you can make it happen”- Vince Lombardi

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