Tips for Sticking to Your New Year Resolution

Happy New Year to our clients and friends from all of us in DCP…

At this time of year our thoughts turn to what kind of improvements we can make to our lives in work and at home. Most of us will make New Year’s Resolutions this year and work hard at putting them into practice for a couple of weeks in January, but how many of us will manage to carry our good intentions through to the rest of the year?

The psychologist Richard Wiseman has found that over 50% of people who commit to making improvements in their lives are confident they will be successful, however, in reality he found that only 12% of people actually were.  So how can we improve our chances of sticking to our plans and reaching our goals for the year ahead?

In his book “59 Seconds” Wiseman offers these ten tips on how we can all be more successful in keeping our resolutions and reaching our goals in the New Year.

1) Make only one resolution, your chances of success are greater when you channel energy into changing just one aspect of your behaviour.

2) Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to think about your resolution and instead take some time out a few days before and reflect upon what you really want to achieve.

3) Avoid previous resolutions; deciding to re-visit a past resolution sets you up for frustration and disappointment.

4) Don’t run with the crowd and go with the usual resolutions.  Instead think about what you really want out of life.

5) Break your goal into a series of steps, focusing on creating sub-goals that are concrete, measurable, and time-based.

6) Tell your friends and family about your goals, thus increasing the fear of failure and eliciting support.

7) Regularly remind yourself of the benefits associated with achieving your goals by creating a checklist of how life would be better once you obtain your aim.

8) Give yourself a small reward whenever you achieve a sub-goal, thus maintaining motivation and a sense of progress.

9) Make your plans and progress concrete by keeping a handwritten journal, completing a computer spreadsheet or covering a notice board with graphs or pictures.

10) Expect to revert to your old habits from time to time. Treat any failure as a temporary set-back rather than a reason to give up altogether.