New Year, new you? If you’ve made a New Year’s resolution, you’re not alone. Surveys suggest that approximately 45% of Americans make a New Year’s resolution. The tradition of marking a new cycle around the sun with a dedication or renewal of effort towards change is something that has been practiced as early as 4000 years ago by the ancient Babylonians. But even though this time-honored tradition spans centuries and cultures, only 8% of people report being successful in achieving their New Year’s goals. To improve your chances of accomplishing your New Year’s resolutions, we’ve compiled a list of tried and true strategies for success.
Use the Buddy System- It’s not just for class field trips anymore! If you can find someone with the same (or a similar) goal, you can work together to train, motivate, commiserate, and hold each other accountable for the next twelve months. The best part? You’ll have someone to celebrate your accomplishment with who understands exactly what you’ve been through to reach your goal.
Make a Public Declaration- It can be scary to announce to the world your intention to make a major change or tackle a big idea, but it’s that same nervousness that you can use to your advantage. If you’re worried about letting people down, or having people ask you about something you’ve given up on, you’ll feel more motivation to keep pushing towards your goals. People who share their intentions publicly are statistically more likely to follow through with them.
Take it One Step at a Time- If you’re looking to make a big change or take on a big challenge it’s important to not get overwhelmed with the magnitude of the process in the beginning stages. Before you jump into the proverbial deep end, break down the steps it’s going to take for you to reach your goal and make an approximate timeline. Do the research and see what other people’s processes have been in similar situations. You’re less likely to feel overcome with the process if you have a clear path of progress going forward.
Don’t Give Up- Ok, this might sound simple, but it’s so much more than just being stubborn and refusing to admit defeat. If you’ve missed a milestone, broken a streak, or indulged in an old habit, that doesn’t mean you have to call it quits. One mistake or setback doesn’t mean that your efforts so far have been wasted. Afterall, if you forgot to brush your teeth one night you wouldn’t give up on ever brushing them again, would you? No, you’d just brush them in the morning and move on with your day.
Be Kind to Yourself- If your New Year’s resolution isn’t coming to fruition, don’t get down in the dumps or despondent. Be kind to yourself and examine the larger intentions behind your goal. Are there other ways you can achieve a similar impact in your life or community? Focus on the positive purposes behind your ambition and channel your momentum into a new outlet for that objective.
Have any additional advice to help the Nuun community reach their New Year’s goals? Share in the comments below!