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88% of all resolutions end in failure! This is according to The Wall Street Journal. So should we make New Year’s resolutions?
The New Year is a logical time to make changes, but doing too much at once is a recipe for failure. Here’s ideas on how to make your resolutions stick:
Choose fewer things to change – Don’t try to quit smoking, start exercising, get a new job, improve your relationship and pay off all your credit cards at the same time. Pick one important thing to change this month.
Think positive – Concentrate on what you want to do instead of what you are moving away from. For example, when I tell you not to think about a pink elephant, your brain immediately conjures up that image. So instead of thinking “stop hating my job” focus on “finding a new position that uses my existing skills.”
Eat properly – Since the most popular New Year's resolution is weight loss, it's important to be aware that starving the brain of calories—even for just a few hours—can impact behavior. Skipping meals makes it significantly harder to summon up the strength to, say, quit cigarettes. Even moderation must be done in moderation.
Reward yourself – If you experience joy when keeping your resolution you are more likely to continue following the same path. Reward yourself with a walk, listening to a favorite song or a delicious coffee. The American Psychological Association article “Happiness Unpacked: Positive Emotions Increase Life Satisfaction by Building Resilience” shows that savoring and appreciating small daily experiences has a greater impact on how happy you feel than big things, like going on vacation or getting a promotion.
Don’t go it alone – Get support from friends, or join a support group. Your initial willpower does not last, get encouragement and strategies from others who’ve been on this road before.
New Year’s Resolutions can be a good idea, if you are realistic in what you choose to change and how you go about it.
Want help making changes in your life? Click here to purchase my life planning book: “Get Me Off the Treadmill!”
Contact me Valerie.MacLeod@HainesCentre.com
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