On the stroke of midnight every 31st of December, many people think to themselves, “new year, new me.” For some, the variation might be something like, “Alright, this year I really, definitely, absolutely will lose 25 pounds, learn Italian, and start volunteering at a charity for the less fortunate. I swear. No, I know I said the exact same thing last year, but this time I really mean it.”
Thirty years have passed since John Norcross and Dominic Vangarelli conducted a study of what happens to people’s New Year’s resolution-making and discovered that (to no one’s surprise) most of us are abject failures at it. After one week passed, 77% of those questioned were still hanging in, but by the end of the first month, just 55% remained dedicated to their resolution. Two years later, only 19% of participants had succeeded.
Making changes to one’s life can be challenging, despite how sure you might be of your chances of success. Apparently, the chances of you ending 2019 as a kung-fu fighting, Hindi speaking, well-rested, non-smoking, financially responsible person are about 1 in 10 according to more recent research.
However, if 1 in 10 people can achieve this, then so can you. All it takes is well backed scientifically tested tips to transform resolutions into lifestyle changes. According to best-selling author, psychologist, and professor Richard Wiseman from the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom, here are 10 tips to keep your New Year’s resolution:
1. Make only one resolution, your chances of success are greater when you channel energy into changing just one aspect of your behavior.
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 setback rather than a reason to give up altogether.
With these scientifically tested tips, perhaps your 2019 New Year’s resolutions will be more successful than what you wished for in 2018.
We wish all our readers a happy and prosperous 2019!
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