New Year’s Resolutions

Wikipedia describes a New Year’s Resolution as “a commitment that an individual makes to one or more personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit. This lifestyle change is generally interpreted as advantageous.”  Approximately 45% of adult Americans make a New Year’s Resolution.  However, studies show that only 10% - 20% of people who set a New Year’s Resolution actually accomplished their goal.  Despite these odds, a New Year’s Resolution is beneficial and we will examine the prerequisites for setting specific goals and outline strategies to meet them.

Among the most popular New Year’s Resolutions are:

  • Spending more time with family and friends – over 50% of resolutions pertain to spending more quality time with loved ones.
  • Increase physical fitness – improved mental and physical health have been proven to reduce the risk of some cancers, improve emotional well being and deliver a host of other benefits.
  • Weight loss – obesity and particularly childhood obesity are unfortunately becoming an epidemic in America.
  • Quit smoking or drinking – it takes approximately four attempts before success, but quitting has significant, lifelong health and wellness benefits.
  • Become fiscally fit – with a weak economy affecting countless Americans a New Year’s Resolution to improve finances and get out of debt is timely.
  • Learn something new – The brain also needs to be exercised.  Lifelong learning can include reading, learning a new language, or learning a new skill.
  • Help others – volunteering and donating to charity are very popular New Year’s Resolutions.  Not only will they help those in need, they help the volunteer and donor as well.

These goals are worthy of anyone’s New Year’s Resolution.  So, how does one go about increasing the likelihood of success?  It starts with crafting and developing the resolution itself.  Most techniques involve organization and goal setting.  First, focus on one resolution rather than many, as it will allow you to concentrate your physical and mental capacity in one area and not have it diluted.  Then set specific, measureable, and achievable steps needed to reach the goal.  It is recommended to have one large goal broken into smaller component goals.  As you encounter success during each step of the achievement process celebrate to reinforce your progress.  Also share your New Year’s Resolution with a friend or loved one as it often help keep on track.

Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in quantifying the goal setting steps, (a system where small measurable goals are being set; such as, a pound a week, instead of saying "lose weight").  Women succeeded 10% more often when they made their goals public, and received support from their friends and family.  You will inevitably encounter obstacles along the way.  Understand that these are not insurmountable, and are just temporary roadblocks on the path to success.  Focus on positive achievements, reinforce positive new behaviors, and develop a strategy to overcome setbacks.

There are several traits that those who accomplish their New Year’s Resolution share.  These emotional and psychological factors include: 1) the belief in your ability to change; the banishing of self-blame or excuses; 2) avoiding wishful and unrealistic thinking while concentrating on specific and realistic goals, and; 3) an understanding as to the motivation and reasoning behind the New Year’s Resolution.  Long term and lasting change is only possible if the goal and the resolution is consistent with your values and beliefs.

1Purpose was designed to motivate its users to live an inspired life.  It is our belief that you can achieve any dream or goal by insuring that your daily actions are consistent with your core beliefs.  Because positive life changes are in harmony with your value system, and motivated by your desire to aid your favorite charity or non-profit, you are sure to succeed.  As you encounter daily success you begin to realize that you are in control of your life, able to make proactive and positive decisions, and gain self-confidence.  As you make your New Year’s resolution 1purpose can help you achieve success.