I’ve never been an avid fan of New Year’s resolutions. I find people make them and quickly disappoint themselves by falling behind in the promises they made to themselves. The potential failure to keep promises made to yourself can erode your self-confidence and may send you reeling, instead of empowering you to kick off your year on a positive note.
There is statistical data that supports many people who make resolutions will not fulfill them. For example, for those that made a resolution in 2020, 35% kept all their resolutions, 49% kept some of their resolutions, and only 16% failed at keeping any of their resolutions. The most popular resolutions for 2021 are exercising more and improving fitness (50% of participants), losing weight (48%), saving money (44%), and improving diet (39%). Millennials are the most confident in keeping all their resolutions (39%).
If you’re one of the lucky people that has been successful in realizing your resolutions, applaud yourself. Continue to follow the strategy you implemented and which is working for you. If you’ve struggled and failed to see your resolutions through, there are other options.
I encourage people to engage in a few behaviors that will set them up for a more productive year. Here are four tips to empower and help you achieve meaningful goals you set for yourself.
- Reflect on what you’ve accomplished in the past year in your work, and vital areas of your life (personally, socially, emotionally). Rate and assess whether you’ve met or exceeded your goals for the year. You may feel happily surprised by what you achieved. Refocus on the areas where you fell short and forecast your goals based on what you feel are achievable for the year.
- Look at your life and write up a list of the key areas that give it depth and breadth: work/school, social, health, self-evolution, hobbies etc. Commit to making realistic growth that you can either maintain and or improve. At the end-of-year, evaluate your level of success. Try to set a minimum amount of acceptable progress you want to achieve and avoid regressing in any of your targeted areas.
- Determine which specific skills you can focus on and use in all the areas you seek to improve and grow throughout the year. Focusing on a few crucial skills, or just one, is easier than focusing on tasks you may forget. For example, choosing patience as a skill can be beneficial in all areas of your life.
- If you choose a resolution that is task-based start with minor tasks that are manageable and build from there. It will help raise the probability you’ll achieve success. For example, if your goal is to increase the frequency of your exercise regimen, build incrementally. Set a day, time and length, every Sunday, 10 minutes, for 2 weeks. Then double it. Or add a day to repeat the same schedule. Your brain will adjust to your level of discipline and help you successfully execute your tasks.
If you take an elongated view of our goals, these tips will give you an opportunity to reflect on 2021 and access your accomplishments. Following through and acknowledging your achievements builds confidence and satisfaction. It’s important to not just do it, but also to remember you did it well.
Reference: “New Year’s Resolution Statistics,” www.discoverhappyhabits.com, December 30, 2020