How to Succeed in Achieving Your New Year’s Resolutions

Each year people ring in the New Year by making resolutions. 39% of people in their 20’s will see resolution success compared to only 14% of people over age 50.

The top categories for resolutions are:

Self-Improvement 47%

Weight Related 38%

Money Related 34%

Relationships 31%

During the first week, 75% of resolution makers work towards their goals. However, this number declines over time. By June the number has dropped to 46%; people have lost their momentum, given up on their dreams, or just plain forgotten what their resolutions were. In order to achieve resolution success and to not be a failure statistic, you must have a plan to succeed.

The first thing you will want to do is make a vision board. I hear you already poo poo’ing this idea. But it works. If you just write your resolutions down on paper, you lose the paper. If you write them in a journal, you close the journal and the “out of sight out of mind” phenomenon happens. You must have a visual that you see every day. A vision board can be a big poster board you hang on the refrigerator door or it can be as small as a 3×5 index card that you tape to the bathroom mirror and/or carry in your pocket or handbag and see throughout the day. I once had a client who was a realtor, and she taped one to the dashboard of her car to remind her every day why she was doing what she was doing.

Now how do you make a vision board? There is no real right or wrong way. Do what works for you. You can cut out pictures from magazines that align with your new year’s resolutions or you can draw the pictures, or do a combination of cutting pictures out of magazines and drawing.  You can use a white board if you don’t want to use a sheet of paper or poster board. Don’t overcomplicate this. After you have your vision board, you will want to design a strategy that gives you direction for achieving your resolutions. I recommend using the SMART acronym.

The SMART acronym stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. List each resolution on the top page of your journal or sheet of paper. Then, down the side of the page in your journal list each letter and word of the SMART acronym, and beside each word, list the corresponding direction you will follow to stay on top of working toward success in reaching your new year’s resolutions.

Example

Resolution – lose 30 pounds

S – specific – I want to lose 30 pounds in six months through diet and exercise

M – measurable – weekly weigh-ins will be conducted, track calories eaten and burned daily

A – achievable – five pounds must be lost each month or 1.25 pounds per week

R – realistic – (yes, this is realistic) – identify periods or situations that may sabotage eating and exercise plan such as Valentine’s Day, Easter Sunday, Mother’s Day – tell people to not give me candy.

T – timely – yes, this is timely.

If you made the goal to lose 30 pounds in one month, it may not be achievable, realistic, or timely. Using the SMART acronym and creating your vision board does take time to complete, but it is worth the investment of your time. Make it a family activity or an activity you complete with friends. Remember, research has shown that those who share their resolutions are 10 times more likely to see success.  As you work through your resolutions you will once again have closure, hope, and direction.

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3 Reasons Why You Need to Make New Year’s Resolutions

Each year 45% of the American population makes New Year’s Resolutions. Yet, only 8% successfully meet or achieve their resolutions. The most popular resolutions fall in self-improvement, weight loss, finance, and relationships categories.

Have you ever stopped to think about why you make resolutions? Is it a family tradition? Because everyone else is doing it? Or because society expects you to make resolutions? Either way, making New Year’s Resolutions is good for you.

Below are my three reasons why you should make New Year’s Resolutions this year.

New Year’s Resolutions Give You:

 Closure

  Hope

   Direction

As you begin to think about what New Year’s Resolutions you will make for 2017, you are forced to reflect on 2016. This will help you identify things you want to end or people you want to eliminate from your life. Reflecting on the past year will also help you see what or who held you back from achieving your personal and professional goals. Saying goodbye to toxic people, unproductive activities, unpleasant situations, and bad habits will provide you space and time for new opportunities and activities. Closure is good. It provides you hope.

Hope is not toxic. Hope gives you peace of mind, drive, and motivation. Can you think of a better feeling to have as you start 2017? When you have hope, you can set a new direction for 2017.

You are in the driver’s seat of your life. Make time to chart your direction for success in 2017. Each new year’s resolution should have its own roadmap to success. I encourage you to take the time to create a vision board showing the resolutions you have already achieved. Then, in a journal or on a white board, write step by step directions on how you will achieve success. I recommend using the SMART acronym when designing the directions for your resolution achievement. We all follow directions every day to achieve results. When you have directions on how to achieve your desired results and you follow them, you will succeed.

Research has shown that when you explicitly make resolutions, you are 10 times more likely successfully complete them than those who don’t explicitly make resolutions. Hang your vision board where others will see it and comment. This will motivate you to keep working towards your goal. Sadly, only 14% of people over the age of 50 reach or achieve success with their resolutions. In the first week, 75% of resolution makers work towards their goals, however the number decreases with each month that passes by. Don’t be the statistic that does not achieve success. In my next article, I will share tips on achieving success in 2017. But for now, make time to reflect on 2016, on what worked and what you will no longer tolerate in 2017.

New Year’s Resolutions provide closure, hope, and direction. These three items work together to help you reduce stress and achieve success in 2017. You can be one of the 8% who achieves resolution success.