If you are like the majority of people around the globe, you welcomed the new year with promises of self-improvement. And most likely those promises included losing weight and exercising more or eating healthier or saving money. Did you know that just 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually achieve them, and most people (68%) abandon their resolutions by the first week of February? It may seem that the odds for success are stacked against you, but you can make your resolution come true with a few easy steps.
Make sure everyone knows your resolution. Post it on Facebook and Twitter and write about it on your blog. Call you sister on New Year’s Day and let her know your goal. Tell your husband what you plan to achieve. The more people who know about your resolution, the more people who will be around to hold you accountable. If you resolution is to eat healthier and your friends and family see you posting pictures of juicy hamburgers on Facebook and Instagram, they’ll be able to call you out and remind you of your goals.
Make ‘em measurable. Simply saying “lose weight” or “eat healthy” or “save money” doesn’t make for a good resolution because the results can’t be quantified. Is losing a single pound what you’re aiming for? What defines “healthy” eating? Does buying one fewer Starbucks latte per week count for “saving money?” Instead of setting vague goals, make your resolutions measurable. For example, set a specific weight loss goal or eliminate a specific unhealthy food (like soda or fast food) from your diet. Commit to putting $10 a week into your savings account. With measurable resolutions, you (and your family!) can hold yourself accountable more easily.
Have a plan. If your resolution is to lose weight, have you set up a plan for getting regular exercise? Stocking the fridge and pantry with healthy options each week will help you to eat according to your new healthy guidelines. Establishing an auto-draft from your checking account into a savings account each week will ensure that you follow through with your attempts to save money. Having a plan is essential to finding success with any goal, especially New Year’s resolutions.
Give yourself a deadline. When will you consider you resolution “achieved?” Is this something you plan on working on all year or is it a short-term goal that will be over by June? If your resolution is to lose weight, make sure you set a reasonable deadline. Losing 30 pounds in 30 days is neither reasonable nor healthy! If you’ve set a year-long resolution, establish smaller checkpoints along to way to make your success more tangible and real.
Celebrate the victories along the way. If you find yourself in the 32% of people still committed to your resolution on February 1st, celebrate! That’s a huge milestone, especially given that the majority of your resolution-making peers haven’t met. But be careful not to sabotage your hard work by celebrating a month of healthy eating with a double bacon cheeseburger! Make sure a part of your celebration is sharing your success with your support team. Blast your triumphs on social media!