As I mentioned in a previous post, I personally don’t set New Year’s resolutions. This doesn't mean I don’t set goals for myself. It just means that when I make up my mind to do something, “now” is just as good of a time as any to start so I don’t wait for New Year’s.
According to a study by the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology, however, nearly half of all Americans make some sort of New Year’s resolution, but that only 8% of those were successful in achieving their goals. If you’re on your way to being one of the 92% who fail to maintain those resolutions, here are 6 ways to help you get back on track:
1) Try to rely on willpower as little as possible. The American Psychological Association has found that willpower is a limited resource capable of being depleted. Instead of constantly tapping into your willpower to help you overcome temptation, try avoiding temptation altogether or give into it, but just a little. In other words, if that ice cream is calling your name and a low fat alternative just won’t do, have some, but just don’t eat the whole carton!
2) Eliminate all-or-nothing thinking. Just because you’ve started to slide on your promise to yourself is no reason to completely throw in the towel. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start again. And don’t wait until “tomorrow” to do it! Every moment is a chance to start again. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about being consistent.
3) Choose your battles wisely. If you were over-ambitious in your New Year’s resolutions and set several goals, try focusing on just one or two. Put the others on the back burner. You can always return to them later. If you try to bite off more than you can chew, you’re liable to just drop them all.
4) Find Support. Do not underestimate the value of a good support group. Finding support can be as easy as listening to a podcast on iTunes or reading an online discussion board. The internet is full of useful resources you can tap into from the comfort of your home. If you prefer to interact in person, try finding a local Meetup. All of these options provide great opportunities for mutual support and encouragement.
5) Find people who will hold you accountable. Support groups are great for this, but be sure to look for opportunities to be accountable in your everyday life as well. Talk about your goals passionately with these people so that they know what you’re doing but be careful to avoid the naysayers. Only share your goals with people who you know will want to see you succeed!
6) Eliminate negative self-talk. Above all else, you can’t succeed if you aren’t in your own corner! When people ask me how I’ve managed to drop 65 pounds, I always stress this point the most. I recommend thinking about the person you love most in this world and imagine talking to them the way you talk to yourself. If you could never imagine talking to them in such a way, your self-talk needs a tune-up! If you are kind and gentle with yourself, you might actually start having fun as you see the positive changes taking place in your life.