Ah, the holidays. It’s a time filled with sparkles, lights, and probably one too many butter cookies. But it’s ok, we rationalize, because come January 1, there’s the all-important New Year’s resolution for us to make good on all the bad (alright, maybe not bad but you know, overindulgence) we just committed during the last few weeks.
The one catch? Most of the 45 percent of Americans who typically make resolutions don’t keep them all year long. In fact, according to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, only 8 percent of us who make resolutions are successful in achieving them. Not really an encouraging stat, right? So why can’t we just keep the promises we’ve made to ourselves at the beginning of the year? Lauree Ostrofsky, a certified professional coach and owner of Simply Leap, believes we’re too hard on ourselves when we make resolutions and even harder when we fail. Tiffany Mason, a certified professional coach and leadership expert as well, has another reason: life. “Life happens,” she said. “Things come up, priorities shift, and New Year’s resolutions go down the drain.”
There has to be a better way to keep resolutions if we’re going to go through the trouble of even making one. Below, we’ve outlined three tips to setting those New Year’s goals, and reaching them too.
This is important – your resolution should become part of your life instead of a one-time accomplishment. “Think of your resolutions as an opportunity to enhance your lifestyle,” Mason said. That weight loss resolution you set for yourself every year and then don’t fulfill? You’re probably looking at it as more of a one-time goal instead of a healthy lifestyle choice. “You need to see your resolutions as making your life even better, happier, more fulfilled,” Ostrofsky said.
Both Ostrofsky and Mason stress the importance of knowing why you’re making a resolution in the first place, and to keep coming back to that when you think you’re going to stray. “Knowing WHY you want to reach your goal will make a huge difference in achieving it,” said Ostrofsky. According to Mason, you essentially want to be able to answer the question, “Why do I want this to be my resolution?” If your answer falls in line with your life priorities, you’re golden.
It’s always easier (and, let’s face it, more fun!) to do things with a friend; resolutions are no different! When you’re having a tough time following your resolution, a friend can help you see it through. “It’s important to know that you have someone else cheering for you and helping you stay focused,” explained Mason.
There you have it – you officially have no excuse not to keep those resolutions this year. What will you resolve to do come January 1? Tell us in the comments!