Every January, the majority of people create New Year’s Resolutions; but statistics show that only 8% of the population end up actually accomplishing these goals by years-end. To help you reach your goals, ditch bad habits, and work toward reaching your New Year’s Resolutions this year, today’s self-help guide features 10 ways to make your New Year’s Resolutions stick.
10 Ways to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick
Featuring expert advice from leading psychologists, renowned authors, and inspiring motivational speakers, these must-read tips will help you transform your life, starting now.
Tip # 1: Feed Your Visions
Steve Siebold, an Atlanta, Georgia-based psychological performance coach and author of 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of The World Class says, “Feed your visions and starve your fears. The best way to do this is by creating a vision board. If you want to lose weight for example, cutout pictures of really fit people and tape them on a poster board. Hang the vision board in a very visible location. This will reinforce the goals into your subconscious.”
Tip # 2: Control Your Attention
Maura Thomas, a TEDx speaker, trainer, author of author of Personal Productivity Secrets, and the founder of RegainYourTime.com, says, “Control your attention. How much of your day is spent being reactive? If you often feel like the day flew by but you didn’t make any real progress on your plans, you might be allowing too many distractions to steal your attention. If you’re always distracted, you’ll get used to being always distracted, and you’ll find yourself bored in the “quiet times.” And as a result, you’ll unintentionally seek out the distraction! Ensure that you have times in your day when you can support your focus. Put your devices on Do Not Disturb, close your email, and spend time working on the things that are important to you – find your flow!”
Tip # 3: Use The 3-Day Rule
Joshua Klapow, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist, Associate Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the author of Living SMART: 5 Essential Skills to Change Your Health Habits Forever. He suggests that we “Allow for and expect setbacks— use the 3 day rule to get you back on track. If you have gone 3 days without doing your goal, stop, write down any reason you failed to do it and pick and EXACT date to start back up. This will keep you cognitively engaged and prevent 3 days from slipping to a week, month, year.”
Tip # 4: Meditate Daily
Dr. Jeffery Martin is a Palo Alto-based, Harvard-trained meditation expert, TED speaker, author, and the co-founder of the Transformative Technology Lab and Finders Course. He says that “Keeping meditation simple will prevent you from getting frustrated, grading yourself and giving up when you think it is not working. The secret to mediation is simply practicing it, because you will eventually find the technique that uniquely works for you!”
Tip # 5: Reward Yourself for Progress
Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills family and relationship psychotherapist, author of The Self-Aware Parent, and co-star on Sex Box, WE tv believes in self-rewards for progress. “If you want to try the reward system for sticking to your resolutions, make sure you implement rewards for short-term positive attempts of sticking to your resolutions. Waiting too long for a contingency doesn’t work. Give yourself daily or weekly small rewards versus waiting until the end of the month. Do not implement negative reinforcements or punishments. Falling off the wagon is punitive enough. Make it a positive incentive and if you meet with disappointment give yourself a break for being human.”
Tip # 6: Figure Out The Why Behind The What
Linda F. Williams is a Life Coach, psychotherapist, and speaker, and author of Too True to Tell, and Rocking 2017: Five Steps to Taking Your Resolutions From In-Tow to MAKE IT SO. She suggests we think about the motivations behind each of our New Year’s Resolutions. “Now, for each goal, list your motivation for wanting that change. Why do you want this change? What is the cost of not achieving this change and how will your life be changed for the better once you achieve the goal? This will act as your encouragement when you encounter inevitable challenges to achieving your dream. Refer to it often to stay focused.”
Tip # 7: Adjust Goals Monthly
Erika Martinez, Psy.D. is a Licensed Psychologist at Envision Wellness. Instead of just writing up New Year’s Resolutions once a year, adjust goals monthly (or as often as needed). “Re-commit to your goals each month. Most people make blanket resolutions for the entire year, and it’s easy to get off track like that. Size your goals and related activities down into small chunks, like monthly or weekly. At the end of each week or month, reflect on what’s enabled you stay consistent and/or what’s been an obstacle. Then tweak those things for the next week or month.”
Tip # 8: Be Grateful
Jamie Price is a Wellness Expert & Co-Founder of Stop, Breathe & Think, an emotional wellness app that recommends short personalized meditations tuned to your emotions. “By practicing gratitude, you can change your relationship to your goals and progress, and it will feel less daunting. For example, gratitude allows you to change your perception from “I have to wake up and do xyz” to “I get to wake up and do xyz.” When you shift into a more positive perspective, you increase the positive effect of your efforts, and will find more energy and enthusiasm for maintaining your commitment to your resolutions.”
Tip # 9: Embrace The Process
John McGrail, Ph.D. is a Los Angeles-based clinical hypnotherapist, self-improvement expert and spirituality teacher who teaches a very simple precept: Life is supposed to be Fun. He says “Embrace the change as a process—and it is *always* a process. One of the big mistakes people make is to look at the end of the process, see everything they think is entailed to get there, and then they become overwhelmed with it all. You cannot climb a mountain in a single bound; you must take it a step at a time.”
Tip # 10: Write It Down
Yvonne Thomas is a licensed psychologist in Los Angeles with over twenty years of experience, three degrees in psychology, and a variety of specialties including increasing motivation and self-esteem. She suggests that we write down our goals for the New Year. “Once you have identified what your New Year resolution will be, concretely write down a plan to give yourself a clear, realistic idea of what it will take achieve this. Having a specific plan will also help you more quickly recognize if and where you get de-railed so that you can get back on track faster. Note that it is important to organize the plan into manageable steps that are very doable and practically foolproof which will allow you to keep making progress and, consequently, keep positively reinforcing you to stick to your commitment.”
For more self-help tips and advice from leading Psychologists and Motivational Experts, visit the Personal Growth section on Inspirations & Celebrations.