New Year Resolutions: 4 steps to achieve success

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new-year-resolutionsYear after year, the top 10 New Year’s Resolutions remain pretty much the same and yet only about 12% of people achieve their goals. That’s no excuse to stop trying, but it is a good reason to do some planning.

Experts agree, there are definite steps you can take to increase your chance of Resolution Success.

Make an clear and honest commitment. What do you want this year? No really, what do want? Making a commitment to quit smoking because that’s “what you do in January” isn’t going to have a high probability of success. Be honest with yourself about what you want to achieve in the coming year. Being too vague is one of the top reasons for failure when it comes to New Year Resolutions. In order to succeed, you need to know your goal. For instance, “I want to complete the Long Beach Marathon in October” is better than “I want to start running more.”

Make a plan and make it real. Is your New Year Resolution to earn a million dollars this year? Or lose 150 pounds by Valentine’s day? Don’t set yourself up for failure by making unrealistic resolutions. Once you’ve come up with an achievable goal — earn a promotion or drop a dress size by Valentine’s Day — then it’s time to make a plan.

Write down how you plan to make your resolution a reality. You might have steps such as “take on new projects at work” and “start speaking up in meetings” or “join a gym” and “wake up 1 hour earlier to workout.” Whatever your New Year Resolution is, break it down into mini-goals with concrete actions you can take.

Go public! Share your New Year Resolution with a friend. and get some accountability. Pride is part of human nature, so letting others know about your goal will increase your chances of following through. Update your Facebook status, tweet your resolution, or tell a trusted friend. This tip is especially helpful for women, who are 10% more likely to be successful when they tell a friend about their resolution. The bonus is that if staying resolved gets tough, you will have a support network to turn to.

Set a timeline and celebrate along the way. Now that you have your list of “mini-goals” make a timeline for achieving them. As you complete each action, reward yourself for a job well done. If your goal is to lose 15 pounds, reward yourself every five pounds. If your resolution is to earn more money at work, then reward yourself when you do the things that get you closer to that goal — whether it’s taking a class or overcoming your shyness to speak up in front of a crowd. Setting milestones is especially important for men, who are 22% more likely to succeed when they practice goal setting.

Nobody ever claimed that making major life changes was going to be easy, but proper planning can make all the difference. Whatever your goal is, these tips offer a good start for avoiding the mistakes of resolutions past and moving towards success in 2010.

Have you kept a New Year’s Resolution? What was your resolution and how did you achieve success? Share your story by leaving a comment below!

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One Response to “New Year Resolutions: 4 steps to achieve success”
  1. Garrett says:

    My New Year’s Resolution is to build a relationship with God starting right now and I pray to build a strong friendship with Him, and this will be my plan year after year; and forever will I remain with this plan because I know God loves me and He loves all of us (New Year’s Resolutions don’t have to be a short one, it can last as long as we want them to last; such as learning how to swim or ride a bike). I thank God for this new year, and I pray for things to start over from the beginning; since there’s always a chance to do so if we ask Him so He can help us do that. I also want to share my thanks to Touched by an Angel and those that participated in it and that made it. God Bless you all and Happy New Year