It's no secret that plenty of New Year’s resolutions last only a few weeks. You have to make a plan on how you’re going to follow through.
By Anna Kim
It's time to have your holiday decorations packed up and stored away, and New Year’s Day resolutions are substituted for the holiday slump.
You might be overwhelmed when you realize your list of New Year’s Resolutions is as long as your holiday shopping list: Lose weight? Get organized? Start exercising? Spending less and saving more? Start reading more? Stop smoking? Getting employed? Getting married?
Research indicates that approximately half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but only 8% actually achieve them. Then, how can you actually make your resolutions stick and follow through on your plans?
We might want to listen to psychologists’ advice.
“Setting small, change one behavior at a time, attainable goals, ask for support, and have resiliency throughout the year can help you reach whatever it is you strive for,” said Psychologist Lynn Bufka, PhD. “Remember, it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important, and working toward it and one step at a time.”
Mr. Bufka stresses that perfection is unattainable. Minor missteps when reaching your goals are completely normal and alright. Everyone has ups and downs, so you have to resolve to recover from your mistakes and get back on track. Don’t beat yourself up!
Dr. Paul Marciano, a noted behavioral psychologist and the author of Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work, gives some helpful pieces of advice for incorporating healthy behavior into your everyday life and carrying through your New Year’s Day resolutions.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before making a New Year’s resolution and avoid making them go down into flames:
▷Who is this for? Clearly define your goals: In order for you to meet your goals, you must have internal motivations to make it. You should be a fan of goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, and time-bound. Make your resolution set only if you feel the internal desire to commit to it.
▷Track your progress. What are your priorities? You might have a line of plans in your mind to achieve, but holding yourself to an unrealistic standard should burn you out before the year is even close to being over. Identify plateau or sticking points in your progress and adjust your efforts.
▷Publicize your goals to friends and family: Share your experiences with family and friends. Support from those around you might increase your odds of success and make your journey much easier and less intimidating.
▷One step at a time: it is easy to understand why multiple resolutions aren’t likely to work. Don’t get overwhelmed with everything in your life. Make the change a gradual one, and it is better to do something than nothing.
All in all, as the Vince Lombardi, an American football player and coach said, the bottom line is that, “It isn’t whether you get knocked down; it is whether you get back up.”
Are you really ready to crank up your lifestyle with New Year’s Day resolutions?
Outwit your inner rebel and follow through.
The sun is coming up over the sea. <Photo=The Wednesday Alpine Club of Atlanta>
Step course in the gym.