TAYLOR COUNTY—Have you set a goal for yourself in the upcoming year, making a promise to better your health, happiness or finances, to purge your home of unwanted clutter, to become more active with a workout regimen, to spend less money and become more fiscally responsible?
Often fueled by enthusiasm, resolutions will often roll off the tongues of individuals as the ball begins its descent and the countdown wanes away to a new year. But how many of those goals come to fruition?
According to a poll conducted by researchers at the University of Scranton, between 40 and 45 percent of Americans will make a pledge to change habits in the new year, but only about eight percent of those individuals will follow through, with most throwing in the towel within the first three and a half weeks.
Armed with some tips and tricks to make those resolutions stick, individuals could see themselves pushing through the fail point and obtaining their goals.
The first key is to make a New Year’s resolution that is obtainable. When setting your goal, make sure to be specific about what it is you wish to do. Without a clear vision for what you want to accomplish, a resolution will most certainly fall flat.
Instead of saying you want to spend less money, set a monthly goal for yourself for spending. That way, you will be better able to track your expenditures, cutting out frivolous purchases.
Whatever your resolution, make sure to start small. Big changes won’t happen overnight, and lasting changes will take time.
So, if your goal is to lose some inches from your waistline, instead of telling yourself you want to drop 50 pounds, start smaller. Set a goal of ten pounds within a certain time frame, and once that goal is met, you can up the ante a little more, fueled by a newfound confidence.
If you’ve decided to hit the gym more, set a goal of a couple days a week, and once your stamina has increased, add days or time on to the workout regimen.
Setting a reasonable time frame is another key to resolution success. Being realistic when determining how long it will take to achieve your goal is crucial. A difficult goal will take more time, so don’t expect success overnight.
Make sure to surround yourself with a support system. Having folks who want to see you achieve your goals will push you to work harder at doing just that. And when the urge creeps in to cheat on your resolution or give up all together, your support system can give you the pep talk you need to change your mind.
Holding yourself accountable for both positive and negative behaviors where your resolutions are concerned is vital. Reward yourself for when you see success. If you fall away from your goal, change your behavior and get back on track.
Setbacks are bound to happen, but you shouldn’t view it as failure. Falling back into bad habits should be viewed as learning opportunities that will help strengthen your resolve to meet your goal.
You must remember to take it easy on yourself. Making lasting life changes can be difficult and sometimes daunting task but keep your goal in sight will help.
If need be, write your resolution down on a post-it and stick it to your fridge or mirror. Studies have shown that those who put their goals on paper are 42 percent more likely to achieve them.
Keep in mind that there are 365 days to do better, be better and achieve your ultimate goal.
So, whether your resolution is to lose weight, give up an addiction, better your finances, get your home in order or to change your routine, you have the power withing you to do it, and by following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to success.