by: Lem Andrews
Here we are barely a week into 2012, and you gotta know that some New Year’s Resolutions have already gone the way of scrunchies and Heathcliff. I think the saying should go “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades, but partial credit will be given for New Year’s Resolutions.” So why do so many people fail to follow through? A lack of sincerity can definitely be cited as a contributing factor. But what about those resolutions that are made with the best of intentions? Here are some tips on how to get your resolutions to stick.
1. Make your resolutions SMART
It’s a goal-setting acronym that now commonly gets tossed around a quarterly business meetings. But a New Year’s Resolution is nothing but a year-long goal that gets announced at water coolers around the first and last weeks of the year. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. If you make your resolution SMART, rather than fuzzy and generalized, you’ll have a better chance of accomplishing it.
Check out what John Spence, celebrated speaker and consultant, has to say about the secrets of success here.
2. Reward Yourself Well, Make Failure an Option
A lot of people never get to step one of their New Year’s resolutions because they don’t want to fail at it. In fact, a search of “fear of failure” returns 9.6 million results on Google. Yet, a huge part of any success story- which often gets glossed over- is the failure that preceded it. Thomas Edison said “I failed my way to success.” So you have to be ok with getting tripped up along the way.
When you finally do make it to one of your important benchmarks, be sure to take some time to pat yourself on the back. Obviously, if your goal is to lose 15 pounds and you lose 10, it’s not a good idea to binge on fudges and figgy pudding, but you get the idea.
3. Bury Distractions
Why do dogs bury their bones? Is it an instinct leftover from their ancestry? Perhaps it is to ensure that the bone doesn’t distract them from the other pleasures of being a dog- play, reproduction, sleep, etc. OK, so that theory isn’t going to hold up in any scientific journal. However, we human goal-setters could take a page from the canines. Remove yourself from the things that make it harder to realize your resolution. If your resolution is to smoke less, frequenting Wheezy’s Joint for happy hour might have to become collateral damage. In fact, you might have to hit up Delilah’s Oxygen Bar instead. The idea is to get yourself as far away from old habits as possible, and replacing them with new habits that push you towards the end-goal.
4. Get Everyone Involved
The more people that know what you’re trying to do, the more people there are checking in on you. Accountability, while perhaps common in the workplace, can often be lacking in our personal lives. It’s one reason the stars get a personal trainer. It’s one reason why AA is still around. Tell your mom and dad and cousin and dog and mail delivery specialist. Get into a group of people with similar goals (Yay! A productive reason to go on Facebook). Whatever you do, don’t keep your resolution a secret.
So there you have it. Just a few ways to ensure you make your resolutions happen this year. If your resolution is to lose weight, check out the 21 day challenge.
Good luck, and Merry 2012!