When a new year approaches, it's a good time to not only celebrate the happy times of the passing year, but to examine ourselves, and create goals to improve. This is a way to make the coming year even better! However, New Year's Resolutions get a bad reputation for being something you say in January, but quit by February. This year, make a resolution that you can follow through with year round by following these steps that are grounded in behavioral psychology.
Things You’ll Need:
• A plan
• Will power
Set a reasonable goal for your New Year's Resolution. Of course "I will look like a supermodel" might be a bit lofty.
Make your goal a measurable one. "I will lose weight" is one of the most common resolutions. However, you need to quantify how much, and by what time. "I will lose 2 pounds per week for the next 3 months and then maintain that weight for the remainder of the year" is a much more specific New Year's Resolution. We are more likely to stick with our resolution if we make it clear.
Make your resolution even clearer by stating it as a plan. "I will work out 5 to 6 times per week for 30 minutes, and only have 1 junk food item on weekends." This resolution is prescriptive. It tells you what to do, and it's just up to you to follow it! This way if your resolution fails it's not a case of "it didn't work." Your resolution will be more likely to succeed when it's a case of "I stuck to my plan."
Set up reminders for yourself for when to follow your plan for your New Year's Resolution. Write times in your schedule. Leave yourself notes on your "To Do" list. Make it a habit to make time to follow through with your resolution.
Reward yourself. If you stick with your resolution for a full month, you deserve a reward. If you are trying to lose weight, you might want to buy a new pair of pants (of course your reward should not be food, because that's counterproductive!). Good luck with your New Year's Resolution!