Happy new year.
It seems that making a new year's resolution is not only a right of passage for Americans come January first but it may be a requirement in some social truths handbook that we all subconsciously read as part of our high school midterms.
Statistically, you are far more unlikely to fail at your resolutions then you are to succeed at fulfilling them. Research has shown that 8% of people who make resolutions won't follow them through to the end of the year.
However, it doesn't matter what your resolutions are, the same research shows that People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don't explicitly make resolutions.
The strange thing about a general mentality towards resolutions is that maybe we have been conditioned to not take them seriously. That if we fail at our resolutions, the consequences aren’t that profound. In fact, if we fear change, the idea of a new self might actually be scary enough to avoid in the first place.
This leaves many of us with subliminal land mines that allow us to sabotage our goals. We want to see positive change in the world and in your personal life. So instead of calling them resolutions, let’s change the term. Let's call these determinations.
We want you to be determined to make the changes you want to make.
Once you decide that a change is needed (and only you can make this choice), the main question then becomes, “what do I do to give myself the best odds of success?”
Here are the best methods for being successful at lasting change.
1. Quantify what you want and why
Write down the things you don’t like about your current situation in one column and then write down the position things that you want to change. Think about how these things will make you feel. Then use this as a guide to track your progress. Track how you feel about the changes and track the process, the more data you can apply to the process the better your chances for success. Part of this data tracking is to build schedules around the things you want to change. Let technology help keep you accountable. If you focus on smaller, more specific tasks and track everything, you will greatly increase your chances of success.
2. Chances are, you will slip up. The recovery plan is what’s important
We don’t expect you to be perfect, we just want to see the change that you are capable of. The best way to get the support you need it to simply ask for help. Build a support network on social media or with friends family or coworkers. Add incentives with friends that allow for rewards or bragging rights if you accomplish your goals on time.
3. Let science be your friend
Sometimes it's not you that is keeping you from your goals sometimes your body just can't process the intended functions. Research has shown that if your glucose levels drop below certain points your brain chemistry changes and makes you more prone to erratic behaviors. These kinds of things can lend to failing attitudes. This also means just knowing yourself, knowing what you respond to and what works for you personally. Are you more likely to succeed if you fear disappointing others? If so, then have friends and family hold incentives for you. If you can be motivated by technology and accomplishments then make spread sheets and reminders for everything associated with your goals. The important thing is to know what works for you and use it to your advantage.
4. Be proud of yourself
By simply reading this you are in the top third of the country that pursues change and improvement. You are asking yourself to change and change is hard. Determinations aren't without pain. Rewards require risk. Remind yourself of all the things that have gotten you this far. Write down 100 things that you are proud of. The point isn't purely to give yourself an ego boost, but to also serve as a reminder of the things you have overcome in the past and to illustrate that success is within reach.
5. Have fun
Life is too short to not have fun. If the change you are seeking doesn't lead to a better life in the first place, then is it really all that important? The added benefit of having fun while pursuing Determinations is that they just become easier and lead to greater success.
Lastly, let us help. Leave your determinations for 2017 in the comments below and we will follow up with you to help make them a reality. We would love to know what you want to change most.
Happy 2017 everyone.