How to keep your New Year Resolutions


Did you know that an estimated 80 percent of resolutions fall apart by February, with another 12 percent failing by the end of the year? So what can you do to increase your odds of success?

Here are a few tips to help you increase your success rate:

Know yourself

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Introverts tend to get energised by thoughts and ideas, so if that’s you, you should find it easier to get motivated by an inner vision than extroverts, who get fired up by people and social approval.

For introverts, scheduling time to reflect on your progress, such as keeping a diary, can be helpful.

For extroverts, signing up for a group such as Weight Watchers where everyone has a common goal can help you to strengthen your resolve, as can sharing even small progress with others.

Be honest with yourself write down why you did not succeed last year and if you have developed a bad habit drop it like its hot. It’s better to avoid the route than put yourself to the test. You can kill a bad habit by simply writing down how you will deal with the problem this year.

Which brings us to the next Tip.

Make a plan

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A study published by the British Journal of Health Psychology found that 91% of participants who wrote down a plan of when and where to exercise successfully met their goals. “Planning is important because the brain builds a story.

You may have to get out of your comfort zone to do this, maybe a quiet beach or park will spark up your mind to pen it down. Find your quiet zone alone and write down a plan. If you fail to plan you plan to fail.

Be more strategic in planning, she says. “You might have announced: ‘This year I’m going to write a novel’ or ‘I’m going to run a half-marathon,’ but that hasn’t given the brain anything to work with. Those are just ideas, not plans.”

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To clarify, a plan is: “I’m going to get up at 6.30am Monday to Friday and write 500 words of my screenplay before I leave for work.” Or: “I’m going to sign up for 10 yoga classes and go every Monday at 6 pm.”

Pick one goal at a time

A psychological study published by the Journal of Consumer Research showed that intentions are most effective when you work on only one goal at a time. People who tried to work on a number of intentions at once were ultimately less successful at sticking to their plans.

You should also prioritize your goals: I have done mine using my five Circle of P’s:

Education, Financial, Health, Spiritual, Family and I write down simple goals for each set.

Face your fears

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“People who are not moving towards their goal are often afraid of something they envisage happening as a result of achieving the goal,” says Bak-Maier.

I remember I nearly flunked my degree because I just could not continue my project work after Chapter Three. Trust me it was a nightmare.

How did I jump the gun? Find out your WHY. Your WHY should be bigger than your fears. Knowing that I will be a dropout, be broke and lose my girlfriend was what got me to finish my essay.

Spend willpower wisely

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Imagine you have planned to go to the gym after work even though you have had a gruelling day at the office and a grim commute. Instead, you spend the evening slumped on the couch chomping crisps. You’ve earned it, right? That is ego depletion in action. (Source Roy Baumeister)

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So how do I use my willpower reserves? When you don’t feel like exercising, reaching out to that loved one or whatever your case may be I will advise “Just DO It”! You will be surprised how in a short time you have the will power to finish the task once you put plans into action. Remember the Power of the Why discussed.

Find your motivation

It seems we all hold some willpower back in reserve.

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Meet your future self

According to Kelly McGonigal, a psychologist at Stanford University and the author of The Willpower Instinct, one reason people fail is that they view their future self as a stranger. That explains why it is so difficult to save for a pension; it feels like handing over your hard-earned cash to someone you’ve never met.

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Interestingly a few years later he signed a deal of twenty million dollars to star in the movies The Mask.

Learn from setbacks

Set a distinction between a lapse and a relapse, imagine you have set a goal to be in a serious relationship but you ran into your ex in a high school reunion and you were carried away after a drink or two which led to a one night stand.

Look at this as a relapse, don’t be hard on yourself or continue with the affair knowing your ex is bad news. It may have been the drinks and the environment that set the stage for a setback so avoid both like a plague. Kowenim!

Don’t be discouraged

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Finally, be kind to yourself.

Surely we must suffer on the road to success? “Feeling negative and emotionally charged drains your willpower battery. Negative moods are the enemy of willpower, and self-blame is the main culprit.”

You must be able to Fail forward not backwards, enjoy the process and occasional hazards on the way to success learn to laugh with yourself.

Remember that tough times don’t last but tough people do. I hope you will put this Tips into your action plan. You will be glad you did.

Happy New Year.