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HAVE YOU BROKEN YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS YET?

The top 10 resolutions for 2014 were losing weight, getting organized, spending less and saving more, enjoying life to  the fullest, staying fit and healthy, learning something exciting, quitting smoking, helping others in their dreams, falling in love and spending more time with family. Other popular resolutions include improving physical well-being, improving mental well-being, improving finances, improving career, improving education, improving self, taking a trip, volunteering, getting along better with people, making new friends, spending quality time with family members, settling down, discovering new cultures, being more spiritual and being more involved in activities.

 

Why are some people more successful than others? 76% believed that sharing their goals helped them reach them. 35% set unrealistic goals. 33% didn’t keep track of their progress. 23% forgot about it. 10% made too many resolutions.  Men achieved their goals 22% more when they engaged in goal setting. Read my 1/6 blog on Smart goal setting. Women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends. Also, talking with a counselor about setting goals and new years’ resolutions helped them keep them. People fail because they run out of willpower. People with more self-control use less willpower. Instead of fending off urges, it’s best to set up our lives to minimize temptations. Playing offense, as opposed to defense, using willpower in advance avoids crises, conserves energy and outsources as much self-control as possible. This is particularly important when trying to lose weight. The more you starve your body, the less willpower you’ll have. There are more temptations than ever. There are also more strategies and tools than ever to deal with them.

 

Setting single, clear, specific goals help. Also, limiting yourself to 1 big resolution at a time helps. With a finite supply of willpower, keeping 1 resolution is difficult enough. You are 10 times more likely to change by making New Year’s resolutions compared to non-resolvers with identical goals and comparable motivation to change. Precommitting helps by setting up strategies and accountability in advance. You can outsource self-control by sharing your progress with friends or making formal contracts on web sites like stickK.com. Using a referee and setting financial stakes on stickK increases the success rate from 29% to 80%. Self-monitoring is vital to keeping any kind of resolution and there are many new tools to help you do that. Sites like Quantified Self and Lifehacker can monitor just about every aspect of your life. Overreacting to a lapse causes people to give up. Realize lapses will happen and get back on the horse. Setting up rewards for yourself in the future will help to fight temptations today. Don’t only use willpower to just deny pleasure, use it also to reward yourself periodically throughout.

 

So hopefully you’ve set resolutions and maintained them. If you haven’t set them, set them. If you’ve set them and lapsed, get back with the program. Use all of the strategies, tools and accountability at your disposal to help you. Good luck with all of your 2015 New Year’s resolutions. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.





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