It’s said that only 8% of Americans stick to their resolutions each year. Those are some pretty lousy odds, if you ask me! So what are those magical 8%’ers doing that everyone else isn’t? Here are some tried and true ways to make a change in behavior that sticks.
1. Don’t make a resolution, make a GOAL. Resolutions tend to be pretty vague- I want to call my parents more often, I want to lose weight, I want to stop procrastinating. Goals are specific- I want to call my parents every Sunday, I want to lose 1o pounds, I want to finish all my assignments no less than 24 hours prior to the deadline. Make your resolutions specific and measurable!
2. Make it public. Tweet about it, blog about it, tell your friends. This makes it REAL and adds a layer of accountability. Having a partner to check in with can make this even more effective. Accountability buddies keep you on track, and help a friend out in their goals as well.
3. Give yourself a deadline. A deadline doesn’t mean “2014”. If you want to learn French, make a goal and give it a deadline- like “Learn 10 useful French phrases by March 1st”. Add this deadline to your calendar or planner. It also helps to break these goals down even smaller- so maybe at the end of each month, make sure you’ve learned at least 2 of those 10 French phrases. Or maybe that’s 2 pounds of those 10 you want to lose. Breaking down goals into smaller goals makes it feel a lot more achievable. 10 pounds can seem tricky, 2 pounds feels a heck of a lot easier.
4. Reward yourself. When you lose those two pounds, reward yourself with something (preferably not food, obvi). Maybe it’s a new pair of workout pants. If you learn your two French phrases this month, maybe treat yourself to a massage. Rewarding yourself for good behavior is a great reinforcement of your new habits. Consider a big reward at the end of the end of the year if you meet your annual goal- trip to France to practice your new skills, maybe?
5. Don’t get discouraged. If you miss a milestone or a goal, don’t get derailed. It’s easy to want to throw in the towel if you get off track. Use it as an opportunity to see what it was that caused you to slip up and reflect on it. What can you do differently when that challenge presents itself again? Regroup and start fresh and definitely don’t beat yourself up.
6. Celebrate your success. We are often our own worst critics- so start being your own biggest cheerleader instead. Recognize your successes and be proud of them! Share that with others- you never know who you could be inspiring!
So what are your goals for 2014? Post in the comments!!