New Year’s Resolutions – and How to Keep Them

December 27, 2016
With less than a week to go before 2017, the time has come to ask yourself what you’d like to accomplish in the year ahead. Or in other words, what’s your New Year’s resolution?

Most New Year’s resolutions fall into one of four major groups: those related to health (losing weight, getting fit); those related to money (saving money, spending less); those related to relationships (finding a mate, scheduling a date night); and those related to self-improvement (taking a class, spending more time with friends). However, according to research, fewer than 10% of people who make a resolution manage to achieve it. Why?

According to a Forbes interview with psychologist Paul Marciano, people don’t achieve their resolutions for a number of reasons. One key factor is that they don’t make the resolution specific enough. It’s not enough to say you want to save money – you need to be specific. How much? By what date? For what purpose? Dr. Marciano recommends using the SMART system – making your goals (S) specific, (M) measurable, (A) achievable, (R) relevant and (T) time-specific.

Another challenge? Finding the time – or rather choosing to use time to work toward your goal. Dr. Marciano recommends scheduling time for your goals in your calendar and making every effort not to reschedule them. So if you want to take a class, be sure to schedule in time for the class, the commute and even the homework!

Keeping your goals to yourself is another barrier toward achievement. Dr. Marciano recommends sharing your goals with friends and family, or even getting yourself an “accountability partner” who will check in on your progress. Knowing your friend will call you each week to see if you went to the gym might just be the extra nudge you need to do it!

Learn more about Dr. Marciano’s tips (seven in all) to help you achieve your 2017 New Year’s resolutions!