Annually, in December, we have traditionally blogged about looking ahead into the crystal ball of the coming year. One year ago in our blog entitled ‘A New Year’s Resolution or a REAL Resolve. You Choose!’, it spoke to what we could do that would enable us to achieve the goals … step by step. So how did you do? Hopefully you tried to improve and it worked!
Here we are just days away from 2016 and again, it’s not unusual that we give thought to what we’d like to accomplish over the next 12 months. On an individual basis these thoughts often translate into the oh-so familiar New Year’s Resolutions. Despite the high hopes and good intentions, however, most of us fail to turn our New Year’s resolutions into reality.
The good news … if there’s good news in having company in this arena … is that we’re not alone. The statistics on the chances you’ll maintain change are fairly dismal. Most studies show resolutions begin to drop off after a week and only about 40% of those who made resolutions actually stick to their goals. If you’ve encountered difficulties following through with your goals, now is the time to resolve to make 2016 different.
Amy Morin, a contributor to Forbes, has identified four keys to make our resolutions stick … making the plans work … in 2016. They are rather simple, straight forward and worth incorporating:
- Identify Your Readiness to Change
Sometimes, the pressure to establish a New Year’s resolution makes us choose a goal before we’re ready to commit. Although we may feel motivated initially, we haven’t really thought about all the work the resolution entails. Thinking, “I guess I should get healthier next year,” without committing to eating healthy and exercising isn’t likely to bode well. Wanting a raise without what you will do to justify one i.e. by increasing your value to the company, is a wish without a plan or sense of personal responsibility. And your plan doesn’t need to take the action on January 1. Rather you can increase your motivation to achieve your goal while creating the plan and related time-line for doing so during the year.
- Believe You Can Do It!
A lot of people try to create change, despite a nagging voice in their heads that says, “This will never work.” If your thoughts constantly drag you down and beat you up, your chances of success are greatly diminished. You’ll likely talk yourself out of taking action as soon as the going gets rough. Creating long-lasting change requires confidence. Counter the self-doubt by writing down the evidence that informs you that you will be able to reach your goal. Keep the resulting list where you can review it often to ‘affirm your strengths and reduce your negative thinking.’
- Think Constructively About Setbacks
Change in our behavior often involves at least a couple of setbacks. However, it’s the way we respond to them that determines the likelihood of reaching our goals. If we approach our goal allowing for the potential of a mistake that takes us off track we view it as a temporary ‘inconvenience’ and enhance the potential that we will benefit from the error and move on. If we see the error as failure we are motivated to say goodbye to the resolution.
- Build Mental Strength
For many people, New Year’s resolutions focus on tangible changes. Although tangible – and measurable – goals are important, it’s impossible to reach those goals without mental strength. It’s the mental strength that will help us reach them. Increasing your mental strength will help you follow through with your goals, even as your motivation declines – which, for many people, is mid-January.
Turning our resolutions into achievements requires that we create the strategic plan of how we will do so. Incorporating the above keys will serve as the glue that makes our resolutions real and makes them stick. 2016? Watch out! Dreaming is just the first step of relishing the achievements accomplished next year!
To all of our readers, our wishes for 2016 being wonderful and successful in every way you choose!