It’s that time of year again – wanting to change or better yourself. As it turns out about 50% of Americans set a new year’s resolution. According to researcher Richard Wiseman, 88% of all those who set resolutions fail. That’s about 156 million disappointed people.
Does that sound like you? I know that for many years I set a resolution: lose weight, get healthy, save money, travel. By February that idea faded. Sometimes I didn’t even make it to February. So I decided to do some research to see if this year could be different.
What I learned is that resolutions (at least my resolutions) are too vague – get healthy, save money. The key for success is to make any resolution a habit first. And start small. For example:
Resolution – get healthy vs Habit – At lunch I will go for a 10 minute walk;
Resolution – save money vs Habit – I will deposit $25 from each paycheck into my savings account.
As you can see by changing the vague resolution into a habit or SMART goal (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) we can increase the chance for success. Now instead of my new year’s resolution being “to save money”, I will choose a SMART goal – I will deposit $25 each pay period into my savings account.
The four most important parts to make your new year’s resolution stick are:
- Pick only one resolution – the one thing that’s most important to you.
- Take baby steps. (If saving money is your goal, but $25 is too much – save $5, save your change).
- Hold yourself accountable. Tell others or write it down.
- Reward yourself. This can increase your chance of success.
Be gentle with yourself. Realize that you may mess up, but keep at it. I wish you much success on your 2014 goals (resolutions).