The beginning of a New Year is the perfect time to turn over a new leaf, and that’s why so many people make New Year’s resolutions.
Examples of common New Year resolutions include:
"This year I'm going to lose weight."
Or "I'll Quit Smoking,"
Or, "I'll find a new job."
Or, "I'll read more."
Or, "I'll begin studying again" etc.
"Out with the old, in with the new." The New Year often feels like a new beginning. It is the perfect opportunity to rid yourself of old bad habits and establish a new, positive, daily routine that will help you grow psychologically, emotionally, socially, physically or intellectually. But, of course, it is much easier to make decisions than to follow precise steps to achieve their goals, and so often by the end of March, many people lose their resolve and return to their bad old habits and lifestyles. However, is it possible to do something about it and finally stick to your plans for the whole year? Well, yes, of course!
Why we make decisions
Only about 12% of people who make New Year resolutions believe that they have achieved their goals. Some of the New Year's most common plans are losing weight, making better financial decisions, quitting smoking, or spending more time with the family. However, whilst most believe they are not achieving their stated goals, there's some good news: according to one American study, those who make new year's plans are still ten times more likely to change their behaviour than those who don't.
But why do millions of people decide to make changes at the start of every year?
Well, the so-called "new start effect" is to blame. It's the notion that some temporary landmarks can motivate the desired behaviour. The beginning of a new year seems like an ideal opportunity for a fresh start in life in general, but many people often make too challenging and difficult decisions for the same reason. While this can sometimes cause a person to bite off more than they can chew, such moments can also be an excellent workout for overcoming oneself and developing willpower.
So, what can you do to make your next New Year's resolution last for the entire year?
Choose a specific and realistic goal
Every year, millions of adults decide to "lose weight" or "get in shape" over the next year. But instead of choosing such an ambiguous goal, focus on something more specific, something that you can evaluate more realistically. For example, "to lose 10 pounds" or "to run a mini-marathon." Choosing a particular goal also helps you plan exactly how you'll achieve it throughout the whole year.
Just set one goal
While you may have a long list of potential New Year's resolutions, it's best to choose just one and focus all your energy on it. That works much better than dividing your efforts towards several different goals. Achieving even small goals can boost your self-confidence, and focusing on just one thing at a time is much more likely to lead to long-term success. Remember, less is more. It can be demotivating and challenging to achieve multiple goals simultaneously. Be patient and bear in mind that it takes time to establish each new behavioural model.
Don't leave things until the last minute
Planning is an integral part of achieving any goal, and having a detailed written plan can make it easier to keep up your newly developing healthy habits. So, why is this stage so crucial for success? Proper planning prevents poor performance. Consider what tactics you will use when you're facing obstacles. What strategies will you employ when the path becomes rocky? If you start working towards a goal without any plan, you may give up too quickly, at the first bump in the road.
Start by writing down your goal, making a list of what you can do to achieve it, and note any barriers that may stand in your way.
Take dolly steps
Often, so many New Year's resolutions remain unfulfilled because people habitually take on too much. Dramatically cutting calories and portions, overdoing it in the gym, or any other drastic change in your everyday behaviour is a sure-fire way to frustrate your plans. Instead, focus on taking dolly steps that will ultimately help you reach your bigger goal.
If you decide to run a marathon, start by running two or three times a week. If you're trying to eat healthier, start by replacing some of your favourite calorific foods with healthier ones.
Avoid the vicious circle of repeating past failures
Another strategy for keeping new year's promises is not to do the same thing year after year. If you decide to re-achieve the same goals you tried to achieve last year, take some time to evaluate your previous results. What strategies were most effective, and which ones didn't work? Why did you stray from your resolution in past years? By changing your approach, you're more likely to achieve real results in 2021.
Remember that change is a process
It probably took years to form the unhealthy habits you are now trying to undo. So, how can you expect to change them in just a few days, weeks, or even months? Okay, it may take longer than you'd like to achieve your goals, but remember that this isn't a race. It doesn't matter who comes first. And reflect, once you've made that commitment to change your behaviour, you will continue to work on it for the rest of your life.
Get support from your friends and family
Having a reliable support system will help you stay motivated, so explain your goals to close friends or family and ask them to help you achieve them. Better yet, enlist the help of others by joining a group of people who share your goal.
Refresh your motivation
In the first few days after the New Year, you'll probably feel confident and highly motivated to achieve your goal. Nevertheless, once you face the harsh reality when you have to drag yourself to the gym at 6 am, your motivation will probably start to wane. When you encounter such moments, remind yourself why you're doing this. What do you gain by achieving your goal? Find sources of inspiration that will help you in difficult times.
Keep working on your goals
Keep this inspiration alive by continuing to work on your goals even after inevitable setbacks. If your current approach isn't working, you must review your strategies and develop a new plan. Start keeping a decision log to track your progress and record your successes and challenges. Jot down the reasons why you do what you do so that you can refer to them during periods of doubt and at your lowest moments.
Don't let small failures get you down
Facing failure is one of the most common reasons why people fail to keep their New Year's resolutions. So, if you find yourself slipping back into a bad habit, don't look at it as a failure because there will always be some bumps in the road towards achieving your goal. If you have a relapse, use it as an opportunity to learn. Moreover, if you keep a diary, write down when the relapse occurred and what could have triggered it. You see, by understanding the challenges you face, you'll be better prepared to deal with them in the future.
We have something that will help you achieve your goals!
Our super course "Changing Mindsets. Program Yourself to Succeed" will help you form useful habits, tell you how to set the right goals, and teach you how to stay motivated. You'll watch 2:07 hours of video, and we'll furnish you with twenty-seven pieces of additional material that will help you delve into certain aspects of the course. There are also eight tests and case studies that will check how well you've learnt the material and how ready you are to apply it in your real life.
The course "Stress Management - 40 Supertechniques: How to Change Life for Better" will tell you about the most effective ways to manage your emotions in stressful situations. You'll learn how to control yourself in any case in your life - both professionally and in your personal life. All this is taught to you in 0:57 hours of video, with twenty pieces of additional material. You'll also solve seven case studies, and pass seven tests to consolidate your newly gained knowledge and skills that will be useful to you throughout your life.
Everyone will find our course "Leadership Thinking: How To Hit Ambitious Goals" invaluable. Our approach is beneficial to everyone, whether you are a team leader or just find it difficult to be confident and decisive. We guarantee that this course can help you. You'll learn to maintain a high level of self-control, change your attitude towards failure, and know how to take care of yourself properly. The course includes 2:40 hours of video, twenty-four additional materials, eight tests and eleven case studies.