Have you heard that not all New Year's resolutions stick? It's no coincidence that gyms seem to be bursting at the seams during the month of January only to bounce back to their regular attendance come February/March. In fact, close to 50% of Americans make New Year's resolutions yet less than half of those resolutions last longer than 6 months. Some sources pessimistically report that only 8% of people are successful in fully achieving their resolution.
Have you heard the joke -- my New Year's resolution is not to make a New Year's resolution? It seems that people are so frustrated by failure that they would rather not even try. In fact, 38% of Americans say that they absolutely never make New Year's Resolutions. Well... that may not be the best move for them. We can all improve on something and take action to treasure our wellbeing. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology suggests that people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.
Explicit resolutions are worth a try indeed!
In addition to the trite yet important -- focus on one resolution, set realistic/specific goals, take small steps -- I have found the following to be meaningful:
-- Think of creating rituals to help you meet your goal (more on rituals in my next blog). You have to create new neural pathways in your brain for your resolution to stick!
-- Think of approach rather than avoidance goals (more on approach goals in my next blog). Positive thinking increases likelihood of stickiness!
-- Frame the goal in terms of your values. If you authentically value it... it will be more likely to stick!
-- Infuse joy into it! Who said one cannot enjoy the process of the resolution?
Here is my 2016 explicit resolution:
I resolve to blog twice-monthly on topics that will strive to empower people to treasure their wellbeing (present company included).