It’s just a week or so into 2014, which means we’re approaching the usual time when New Year resolutions start getting put to the test. Typically, the majority of people will abandon their goals in January - most likely on the 24th, or “Fail Friday” - while research shows just 8% will go on to actually keep their New Year pledges. So how do you buck the trend? Here are a few useful tips to help you keep on-track with your own resolutions.
Be honest - and know your limits
A common reason for resolution failure is trying to overstretch or set unrealistic targets - like the person who attempts a 10-mile run the first day into their new fitness regime. Instead, try being honest and realistic with your goals and how you plan to achieve them.
Break things down
Set yourself a challenging target with your resolution? Don’t set yourself up for problems by trying to do everything at once. Just like training for a marathon, it’s a good idea to break down your New Year pledge into manageable chunks so you can work up to your final target. Check out this Entrepreneur article for some tips on how to use these bite-sized tasks to develop new, regular “good” habits that are difficult to break.
Look for support
Keeping your resolutions doesn’t have to be a lonely struggle - so why not try looking for a little help to help you with your goal. If possible, you could try gathering a support team to help motivate you through the tough times ahead - but if you prefer to keep your friends and workmates out of it, why not use an app to help keep you organised and focused on your resolutions? Check out these lists of handy apps from Time and ReadWriteWeb that could make things a little easier for you.
Don’t give up
If you face a setback when trying to stick to your resolutions, it’s easy to get disheartened and quit them altogether. But you’ll be more likely to succeed in the long term if you agree in advance that it’s OK to “fail up”, provided you learn from your mistakes and keep your final goal in your sights. This blog from iDoneThis includes some great information about how to include “relapse planning” into your resolutions, where you force yourself to consider potential setback scenarios in advance and make plans to counter them when your willpower is running low.