According to a study done by Quirkology, fewer than 12% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions will have kept them by the end of the year.
The problem is that many of them make those resolutions ‘in the moment’ and ‘under the influence’. A better option is to give them due thought prior to the stroke of midnight.
Here are three tips to making resolutions that will ‘stick’.
1. Reflect on the big dream.
I call that your Dream Destination. It’s where your life, business and career would be 5, 10, 50 years from now presuming that things had gone far beyond your wildest dreams. When you make resolutions, think about the end goal. Focus on the behaviors you need to exhibit. Decide what you need to do or who you need to become this year in order to make that dream possible.
2. Recognize that growth is a process.
It’s difficult to get from your current state to a dramatically different one in one fell swoop. If your goal is to become ‘kindler and gentler’, what behaviors could you start to practice and implement now? Perhaps you would listen more. Ask for the opinions of others more often. If you’re striving to be more bold and brash, you might practice speaking up or taking action whenever a thought pops in your mind rather than mulling it over until the window of opportunity has passed.
3. Anticipate resistance
Since growth is a process, start where you are. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. There are parts of your mind that are designed to protect you. So when one part of you declares “I’m going to be…” another part of you quivers and say “Oh no! We’re not ready” . And that part makes you doubt yourself, procrastinate, maybe even cower in the face of your big dream.
Create a support structure for yourself. Use reminders like a vision board, goal sheets and to-do lists. Enroll an accountability partner and share your resolution with them. Kids are great at this. They love being the grownup and telling their parents what they should be doing.
If you give some pre-thought to which resolutions to make and how you’re going to keep them, you’ll be more effective and may end up as one of the diligent 12% of resolution setters that succeed.