Let’s face it: resolutions have become somewhat of a world-wide joke. It’s estimated that we break 50% of these commitments by February and 92% by year’s end.
Still, there’s an appealing air of possibility about new beginnings. So time and again, we ignore the 8% success rate and ring in the year by selecting yet another new leaf to (attempt to) turn over.
This year, let’s tilt the odds in your favor. These 7 tips might take some work, but they’ll help you reap great rewards:
1. The write start
Write out a description of your vision fully accomplished. This is actually quite fun, because it’s a very positive and concrete step.
The secret is to get specific: describe what your world looks like once you’ve succeeded—how you’re behaving and how you feel.
And make it your dream picture rather than a description that seems easy to achieve. Once you give your vision some real legs, you’ll be amazed at its power.
2. One at a time
Some of us can think of many resolutions we’d like to shoot for. But behavior change is hard, and to succeed, we need to focus our energy and attention. So don’t pile on too much.
Pick one behavior to change at a time, accomplish it, and move forward once it’s ingrained.
You must have itch. You have to want it. And the more difficult the goal, the more itch you’ll need.
If you’re tackling a resolution because someone you care about wants you to make a change, your odds of success are much lower.
That same person can help you develop the desire that will drive meaningful change; that’s a great use of their passion and concern for you. But if they have the itch and you’re supposed to take the action, you have a tough road ahead.
4. A Shiny New Toolbox
I love power tools. I can lose an hour admiring drills and nail guns at my local hardware store. And miter saws! Don’t even get me started on miter saws.
Years ago, when I began making a real investment in quality power tools (you’re welcome, DeWalt), my wife balked at the expense. But once she realized what those tools inspired me to accomplish, she welcomed the investment with an ever-growing project list.
Of course, I’m not suggesting that you spend a fortune on gear. But a shiny new tool can carry so much appeal that it spurs action.
A great-looking workout outfit can inspire follow-through on your new exercise routine. A cool new task app can make your resolve to get organized feel fun. And a smaller pair of jeans can encourage you in your weight loss efforts as you try them on each week.
5. Baby steps
Cleaning up your over-cluttered storage? Start with one closet, set a goal for when you’ll have it tidy, and make it happen.
Want to spend more alone time with your spouse or child? Set a monthly date night.
Determined to improve your patience? Schedule intentional visits to your grocery checkout line on Saturdays, and plan to enjoy the wait.
Start small and stay specific.
6. Daily grade card
Label an index card with your resolution and keep it on your bedside table or beside your toothbrush for a few weeks. Every night, give yourself a + or – grade for how you did that day.
There’s great power in knowing that this self-assessment is waiting each evening.
7. Get a partner
Accountability partnering is one of the most powerful behavior-change tools we have. As it happens, I explored this subject in detail just a few weeks back, so read up and get connected.
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