How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions Beyond a Week? 6 Tips To Help You Achieve Goals.

It has been almost a week since New Year’s Day. As we come to senses after all the fun filled new year parties and putting our goals into action, I thought here are 6 Tips To Help You Achieve Goals and keep the New Year’s resolution beyond few days or weeks.

Before we get into the tips, here are some interesting Research about New Year’s Resolution.

  • A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail, despite the fact that 52% of the study’s participants were confident of success at the beginning. (Source Wikipedia)

From Opinion Research Group

  • 45% of Americans usually set New Year’s Resolutions; 17% infrequently set resolutions; 38% absolutely never set resolutions.
  • Only 8% of people are always successful in achieving their resolutions.
  • 19% achieve their resolutions every other year.
  • 49% have infrequent success.
  • 24% (one in four people) NEVER succeed and have failed on every resolution every year. That means that 3 out of 4 people almost never succeed.
  • Of those who do set resolutions (these add to more than 100% because some people set multiple resolutions):
    34% set resolutions related to money
    38% set resolutions related to weight
    47% set resolutions related to self-improvement or education
    31% set resolutions related to relationships
  • It appears that the younger you are, the more likely you are to achieve your resolutions:
    39% of those in their twenties achieve their resolutions every year or every other year
    Less than 15% of those over 50 achieve their resolutions every year or every other year

Despair Not Me Hearties, from these numbers as our scientist friends has also discovered secret to sticking to your goals.

6 Tips To Help You Achieve Goals

1. Don’t make too many resolutions.

Pick a realistic, attainable goal with a reasonable time frame. A couple of small goals works best.

Don’t make Resolutions, make resolution. Overwhelming our mind with too many restrictions or challenges is sure way to fail any goal. Find the most important goal (personally) and break it in small chunks with reasonable time frame. Also make realistic goals, If you want to climb mount Everest and never climbed a small hill. Set your goal to climb the small hill first. Acquire the skills to accomplish your bigger goal. Acquiring skills is one goal in itself. If you’ve been smoking for last 15 years and suddenly going to stop one day, is this realistic? Will this work?

From the 31 Day Manage Your Mind Free eCourse, here is the formula to set specific goals

This is what the SMART Acronym stand for………..

S= Specific Do not set a vague, fuzzy, or poorly-defined goal like, ‘I’ll be more loving’. Instead, be specific: ‘I’ll give my students a good, long hug when I see them sad’. In other words, specify what actions you will take.
M = Meaningful Make sure this goal is aligned with important values.
A = Adaptive Is this goal likely to improve your life in some way? Getting you closer to who you want to be?
R = Realistic Make sure the goal is realistic for the resources you have available. Resources you may need could include: time, money, physical health, social support, knowledge and skills. If these resources are necessary but unavailable, you will need to change your goal to a more realistic one. The new goal might actually be to find the missing resources: to save the money, or develop the skills, or build the social network, or improve health, etc.
T = Time-framed Put a specific time frame on the goal: specify the day, date and time — as accurately as possible — that you will take the proposed actions.

Click here to get on the eCourse. 

2. Choose your own resolution.

Make sure your goal is something that “you” want to accomplish for yourself and not just for friends or family.

If you set goals, because someone has said something it wouldn’t last long. You will need intrinsic motivation to keep going. External motivators can get you going but will not help you sustain the pace when things get difficult. Fear of Shame is good starting to launch into your goal but to keep going in the space you need your own power.

Always lose weight for yourself, not others. Always build a stronger body for yourself. Always quit addiction because you care about your health.

3. Make a plan and write it down.

Plan what you’d like to accomplish in a certain period of time, like three months. Put milestones for every fortnight or month. Achieving goals over time gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivation to keep going. Writing your goals down is a good way to keep track of your progress.

Research by Laura King shows that writing about achieving future goals and dreams can make people happier and healthier. (source link).

Also a plan keeps you honest and accountable. When in confusion a good written plan will guide us to next steps as well. For example a written exercise plan will reduce the effort of choosing which exercise to do. Same with meal plans, they help us reduce cravings and binge eating.

4. Involve friends and family.

They can support your efforts and can motivate you to keep going. Group activities are just more fun.

Studies of people trying to change their lives, for example by losing weight, found that they are 22 percent more likely to be successful in their efforts if they are open with their family from the start about what they are trying to do. (From 100 Simple Secrets of Happy Families)

By telling people, we invoke either fear of failure or shame, which keeps us going. Also friends who are trying to achieve same goals as you will be great to pair up.

Put your SMART goal, as above on Facebook or Twitter, also ask for their support in public to help you stick to your goal. Do it Now !!

5. If you get off track, forgive yourself.

This is a weird one. As popular psychology says don’t fail and bit yourself if you fail. I suggest review your plan and make adjustments–but, never give up.

Self-Compassion is key to winning. If you become to harsh on yourself when you screw up, achieving long term goals will be a challenge. When we loose self-acceptance, we start focusing on the stuff up rather than thinking about tweaking the plan and moving forward.

Study after study shows that self-criticism is consistently associated with less motivation and worse self-control. It is also one of the single biggest predictors of depression, which drains both “I will” power and “I want” power. In contrast, self-compassion— being supportive and kind to yourself, especially in the face of stress and failure— is associated with more motivation and better self-control. Consider, for example, a study at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, that tracked the procrastination of students over an entire semester. Lots of students put off studying for the first exam, but not every student made it a habit. Students who were harder on themselves for procrastinating on their first exam were more likely to procrastinate on later exams than students who forgave themselves. The harder they were on themselves about procrastinating the first time, the longer they procrastinated for the next exam! Forgiveness— not guilt— helped them get back on track.(From The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To )

6. Congratulate and reward yourself.

When your intermediate goals or resolutions are met routinely. Keep in mind it’s a lifestyle change that is intended to be self rewarding.

In my Weight Management Workshop, I ask people, What after you loose 10 KG? (i.e. achieve your goal) . I teach skills to make it a life style change while defining small rewards as we stick with the habit change. As with your current Resolution what small rewards you are going to have, to keep yourself motivated?

Here is extract from one of the email from my eCourse

GOALS Rewards & Restrictions

What is the point of having a goal in which we have to wait till the end to see reward?

As most of the goals create situation where you keep putting effort hour after hour or day after day to see the reward. The reward could be very satisfactory but the process to achive the goal might prove challenging, and that challenge could derail us from achieving our goals.

So in today’s email I suggest to have power-ups as you go along your path to achieve your goals. These small rewards will keep you motivated along the way.

While rewards are a good way to boost the motivation, it is also good to put restriction/punishments along the path. To avoid the punishment you might stick to the goal.

Here is a scenario of a kid who was not been focusing on his homework and spending too much time with gadgets

To know the scenario and more awesome techniques to find joy & success click here to get on the eCourse. 

What you are going to do now?

  • Tweak your goal? Make it Smarter.
  • Define rewards for yourself.
  • Announce it publicly.
  • Write a detail goal plan.
  • Get on the eCourse.

 Let me know what other techniques has worked for you in comments below.

Be The Change

Mrugank Patel