Call it a one-month resolution
Big numbers are daunting. Thinking about changing habits for an entire year may seem overwhelming. Start with one month, and then make it another after that, and so on and so forth. The majority of people who successfully make it through just the first month of their resolutions continued working on them through the rest of the year.
- Be accountable
Telling somebody about your resolution will reinforce a “must do” attitude. The friend you confide in may ask you how it’s going and, in a sense, help you track your progress.
- Plan for derailments
Going from point A to point B is not always a straight line. Think of it more like a treasure map with many twists and turns before the goal can be achieved
- Be specific
Instead of saying “I want to lose weight” put a number on it! Rather than stating you’ll get out of debt, be specific about how much per month you will pay off on your outstanding bills.
- Connect the goal to core values
Following the example of Mike Tyson, who recently wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times
, give up vices for the sake of better relationships with family and friends.
- Focus on progress made
Be your own cheerleader and focus on gains made and not how much more needs to be done. Celebrate monthly milestones and keep up the progress!
- Keep making resolutions
Don’t wait until next New Year’s Eve to make resolutions. Improving ourselves is an ongoing process and not an annual event. Keep making adjustments to your life and setting new goals throughout the year.
Fujita K, Trope Y, Lieberman N, et al. Construal levels and self-control. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 90, 351-367, 2006
Koo M, Fishbach A. Dynamics of self-regulation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 94, 183-195, 2008
Orbell S, Verplanken B. The automatic component of habit in health behavior. Health Psychology. 29, 374-383, 2010
Tyson M. Fighting to kick the habit. New York Times.
Retrieved on Jan 4, 2014, at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/04/opinion/mike-tyson-fighting-to-kick-the-habit.html?_r=0