The start of a New Year is the perfect opportunity to make a change, which is perhaps why millions of people will be making a New Year’s Resolution in the next few weeks. It is the ideal moment to commit to forming a healthy new lifestyle and breaking any destructive habits we have formed in the past .
Making a New Year’s Resolution is easy – keeping it is the hard part. In fact, 45% of people will be making a New Year’s Resolution in 2015 but, according to studies conducted by the University of Scranton, only 8% will follow through. Only 8%!
This is not surprising when you consider the major lifestyle changes that are needed to achieve our most desired health and well-being goals. But we make resolutions for a reason, right? So to increase your chances of success in 2015 here are 5 super tips to help you feel more confident in making your resolution a reality.
FOCUS ON ONE ACHIEVABLE GOAL
While it is tempting to compile a lengthy bucket list of potential New Year’s Resolutions, Richard Wiseman, a professor of psychology at Hertfordshire University, advises to chose only one instead of spreading yourself too thin trying to achieve a number of things all at once. Taking on a specific, realistic goal will give you the chance to plan and strategize precisely how you are going to achieve it. Remember, stay focused and be patient – you can always add to your resolution as you achieve small milestones. Setting unrealistic goals can act as a de-motivator, as we tend to quickly lose interest when we don’t see immediate results.
WRITE IT DOWN
Life can get very hectic so an offhand resolution to make a positive change can easily be disregarded and substituted by a million less important things. Getting your goal down on paper shows purpose and dedication, and it forces you to be specific about what you want to achieve. In fact research shows that you are 43% more likely to follow through on your New Year’s Resolution if you write it down. A resolution floating around your head is only a wish. Putting it down on paper makes it a declaration you can’t deny.
ANNOUNCE YOUR GOAL TO HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE
Research shows that making a formal declaration of your intentions increases your chance of success by 33%. It is easy to let people know about your intentions. For example, the easiest way to share them is on social media. Tweet it from your online rooftop! Post it on all your social networks! It is difficult to throw in the towel when you have announced your New Year’s Resolution to your friends, family and followers. There is a good chance that they will ask you for progress updates which will help to keep you on track.
PUT MONEY ON THE LINE
Make a bet with a friend or pledge money to a charity if you don’t follow through. This tip is founded on behavioral economics, which shows that money can be a powerful incentive. It has been revealed that your chances of success increase by 72% if money is put on the line. Also known as the “loss aversion” the theory refers to the propensity for people to avoid losses (over the desire to acquire gains). This is also a great way to incorporate social responsibility into your goal setting practices. Combining social motivation with charitable giving is a win-win way to stick to your commitments and change the world for the common good.
MAKE A VISION BOARD
This usually takes the form of a collage and can include pictures, words, affirmations, goals and anything you would like to achieve or receive. A vision board is like a blueprint for your resolution so make sure put it in a place where you will see it every day – hang it up over your bed or make a digital one (for example using Pinterest) that you can carry around with you on your phone. This type of visual prompt will keep you motivated, show you how much you have achieved, and train your mind to develop more positive thinking habits.
This article was written by Jay Boolkin and originally appeared as a guest-post on Chumcubo Designs.