To Keep or not to Keep your New Year’s Resolutions


pen and paper

It’s been a little over a week since January 1st–the day lots of us make New Year’s Resolutions.

The first little while lots of us are motivated to make our resolutions happen. It’s a new year! This time we’re going to drop those pounds, spend more time with family and friends, and enjoy life more. But why is it that after 6 months, more than half of us will have dropped those goal plans by the wayside blaming a lack of time, a lack of resources, or that our resolutions weren’t really that important afterall?

Should we even make New Year’s Resolutions?

At the beginning of the year we have an opportunity to start afresh, to think about what’s important to us in our lives and what we want to achieve. It’s like re-setting the clock. I found one stat that said people who actually make New Year’s resolutions are 10 times more likely to reach their goals. (Of course one could ask, if you didn’t make a goal, how would you actually fail to reach it–but let’s not go there! 😉

It’s that self-control muscle, I knew it!

The Toronto Star posted an article last week stating most New Year’s Resolutions aren’t met because we lack the self-control muscle to make them last. I looked up in an anatomy text where that muscle is and couldn’t find it! Damn! Must be a secret muscle I don’t know about!

So what does help New Year’s Resolutions stick?

Recently I wrote a blog about New Year’s Resolutions that last. In it, I talk about creating smart goals-the ones that are specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-lined. Having a simple and realistic goal is probably more achievable than a lofty, strident, nail you to the ground kind of resolution. I’m just sayin’!

A partner in Crime

You know yourself the best. What’s going to help you stick with your goals? Would it be helpful to recruit a partner in crime? Suppose you and someone you know decided to make exercise a part of your regular life. After you’ve gone through the S.M.A.R.T. steps, what could you both do to help keep each other accountable? What could you do to support one another? What kind of specific support would you like from her or him that would make it much more likely that you’d achieve your fitness goals?

If and then

Would it be helpful to add a touch of forgiveness into your plan? Suppose you slip up once in awhile or even get off track for some time. Does that mean you should throw the whole goal plan out? NO! Knowing yourself the way you do, what would help, even if the smallest of ways, to get you back on track? Would it be helpful to create a contingency plan? If I get off track, then I will do x, y, and z to get back with the program. Voila! Success, here you come!

I will remember..honestly!

What’s going to help you be mindful of your resolutions–to keep them at the forefront of your daily life so that the chances of them occurring are that much greater?

Would a picture of your goal help? Something that’s hung in a central place?

How about using bright sticky notes in conspicuous places?

Would your task manager on your computer be recruited to help the cause?

What other ideas do you have that could make those “big, hairy, audacious goals” an on-going reality?

To keep or not to keep your New Year’s Resolutions is ultimately up to you. What’s helping you stick to them? I’d love to hear your comments!