How many New Year’s resolutions have you made over the years? How many have you kept? If you are like most people, the second number is much lower than the first. For some people, the second number is zero.
Don’t be discouraged if you have failed to keep resolutions in the past, this is a new year. You can increase your chances of success if you adopt one or more of the five methods below:
Methods of Resolution-Keeping
1. Keep a Diary. Write down your resolutions, and compose a daily diary of your progress in keeping them. This will force you to remain accountable to yourself. Another benefit of a diary is analysis: If you break a resolution, you can try to figure out what the triggers were. Such self-awareness will help you achieve your goals.
2. Make “Cooperative” Resolutions. If you make resolutions with a friend, you can cheer each other on and introduce healthy competition into the mix. By reporting to each other about your progress, you add another layer of accountability to your efforts. You and your friend can make different resolutions, too, if that is appropriate. The point is to support and monitor each other. It is fine to bring in other friends, as long as every participant reports in regularly and stays accountable.
3. Join Support Groups. Support groups range from online forums to organizations that offer in-person meetings. Again, the goals are reporting and accountability. If you have tried the diary method and/or the cooperative method without success, then a support group might be a good next step.
4. Use Technology for Tracking Purposes. There are many ways to track success through technology, especially in regard to exercising and eating a healthy and balanced diet. Smartphone apps and wearable devices are available for tracking calorie intake or exercise habits. The convenience of these types of trackers makes it especially easy to monitor your progress.
5. Expect to Err from Time to Time. 100% perfection is hard to sustain. Do not beat yourself up about these incidents. Assess what happened, figure out why it happened, and move on. It is important to not let isolated cases of failure derail your overall plans. Remember: An A+ is a great grade, but an A- is a pretty great grade, too.
Sticking to resolutions can be difficult, especially over a long period of time. By adopting one or more of the techniques above, you can enhance the probability of success. Determine a strategy that is right for you, and start preparing your 2018 resolutions. This year, you just might keep them.