So, we’re a few weeks into the new year. How are your resolutions going?
If you’re like the majority of people out there, you’re flagging a bit. You might even have abandoned them already.
But don’t worry, I’ve got three tips to help you get back on track.
1. Rephrase your resolution.
This is pretty interesting. Studies have found that if you pose your goals and resolutions as questions then you’re more likely to change your behaviour. So, rather than just saying “I’ll exercise twice a week”, you ask yourself “Will I exercise twice a week?” and then actually answer “yes”.
If you feel a bit strange talking to yourself like this you can get a friend to ask you the question, then you just have to answer “yes”. Doing it this way has the added benefit of creating a bit of accountibility, as your friend will know that you made this promise.
But the studies show it works just as well if you just say it to yourself.
One of the authors of the paper, Eric Spangenberg, believes that the reason it works might be that being questionned about our intentions puts some pressure on us to follow through. In other words, because we’ve answered that yes, we will do it, we then feel obligated to stick to that.
2. Partner up.
Following on from the first point, another great way to get back on track with resolutions and goals is to find an accountability buddy.
A study carried out at the Dominican University of California found that doing this can really improve your chances of sticking to your resolutions. They asked participants to write down their goals and then send regular updates to their buddy, letting them know how they’re getting on.
Over 70% of the participants who did this ended up reaching their goals.
This is amazing, especially when compared to the participants who didn’t have an accountability buddy. Only 35% of that group met their goals.
So, ask around your friends and family and find someone who is also after some new motivation to meet their goals this year. Then get going together and hold each other accountable.
3. Scale back and break it down.
One of the main reasons that people don’t stick to their resolutions or meet their goals, is that they’re just too big.
We often have unrealistic ideas of what we can achieve, or the timescale that we can achieve it in. So we might start the year stating that we’re going to hit the gym 5 times every week. That we’ll lose a stone by the end of January. Or that we won’t drink any alcohol for a month, and will also cut out sugar from our diets.
These kinds of goals pretty much set us up for failure. They’re either too big, require too much of a sudden, drastic change or they’re just not possible to achieve in a short amount of time.
So we get discouraged and quit trying altogether.
If you’re finding that, a few weeks into the new year, you’re feeling like you’ve already failed at your goals then just stop.
Rethink them. Scale them back a bit to make them more realistic. Give yourself a chance!
So there you have it.
Three things you can try to make this the year you keep your resolutions and meet your goals! Please do leave me a comment and let me know what you’re planning on achieving this year, and what you think of these ideas to help you get there.