Happy holidays everybody! With the new year around the corner many of us are starting to think of our next resolution. Resolution is defined as “a firm decision to do or not to do something”. Any promise to yourself that’s worth keeping is also worth preparing for right now. So get to it! Here are some ideas to (hopefully) make your New Year’s resolution a successful one.
Tips for a successful New Year’s resolution:
1. Research and prepare
According to statisticbrain.com the top three resolutions of 2012 were losing weight, getting organized and spending less. 45% of all Americans made a resolution for 2012 and of those people only 8% succeeded. So what happened to the other 92%? Most of them likely did not prepare adequately. If you are drunkenly making a New Year’s resolution as the ball drops you’re probably going to be doomed from the start.
By doing your homework you’re making it easier to start and harder for yourself to quit down the line. If you plan on losing weight start researching the best diet and exercise plan now…not when you’re hungover on January 1st. Don’t have a gym membership? Get one now! If you need to buy a dieting cookbook, nicotine patches or an e-cigarette get yourself all set up. Use the internet to find more tips on your resolution, there are plenty of success stories out there as well.
Not all resolutions require buying things. Some involve self control like spending less or drinking less. These can be prepared for by making a personal checklist of what you can and can’t do to satisfy your resolution. Trying to spend less? Set a weekly and monthly budget for yourself and use the savings for something useful. Trying to drink less? Set a weekly limit for the number of drinks you can consume and tell your co-workers you won’t be going to that after-work happy hour.
2. Tell family and friends
Many people underestimate this strategy but it helps immensely. Some resolutions become a true test of your will power and letting people know can help ease the process. For instance if you’re quitting smoking you’re friends will likely help by not smoking around you or by keeping you busy.
Aside from the moral support you’ll receive, telling your family and friends will get inside your head (in a good way). You’ll want to show them that you’re making progress and you won’t want to let them down let alone end up lying to them if you fail to start your resolution. Letting everyone around you know will get you “pumped up” and you won’t want to let them (or yourself) down. Telling everyone will also help you find someone with a similar resolution.
3. Find someone with the same resolution
After making preparations and telling your friends, find somebody who has already, or is willing to make the same resolution. Having another person to share the experience with will be beneficial to both of you. If you want to lose weight, find a gym/dieting buddy to carpool with or share meals with. If you want to quit smoking find someone who is doing the same and see what method does or doesn’t work for them and compare notes. Once you begin to rely on each other it will be hard to let the other person down.
This is really just a backup system for your backup system. If you start lacking the willpower and your friends aren’t being as supportive as you’d hoped….it will likely be this person that will get you back on track.
4. There’s (probably) an app for that
So, you can’t find someone to struggle through your resolution with? There’s probably an app for that. The smartphone has really become mans best (non-living) friend, containing loads of entertainment and even self-help apps. There are a plethora of fitness apps out there but also some dieting apps, financial monitoring apps, stop smoking apps and even drink less apps. If you can’t find someone to help you out just substitute a person with one of these apps…even if it might cost $5. Don’t be cheap, just drink one less beer on New Year’s.
My 2013 resolution will be to stop drinking sugary drinks. I realized most of my sugar intake was from drinks. Notice how I said “stop”. Cold turkey is going to be difficult but hopefully I will feel healthier and lose a few pounds quickly. This means no soda, no Starbucks mocha frappuccino’s or Dunkin iced coffee, no milk shakes and worst of all…no chocolate milk! Whatever your New Year’s resolution may be, stick with it and good luck!
“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda