6 Ways to Increase New Year’s Resolution Success

A New
Year’s resolution
, per Cambridge Dictionary, is “a promise that
you make to yourself to start doing something good
or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year.”

An interesting, and somewhat discouraging, statistic: 88%
of Americans, who make New Year’s resolutions, FAIL according to researcher
Richard Wiseman. Does that mean I should just give up,
throw in the towel, and, if I am fat, start singing?

Hold on just a minute…since 12% of Americans don’t fail, it
is possible to keep New Year’s
resolutions, and there are several things that you can do to increase your
chances of success. Here are six tips for stacking the deck in your

1. Only attack one resolution at a time. Don’t move on to another resolution until the
first one is complete or has become habitual (habitual: something you do that
takes very little thought or effort).

2. Make sure the resolution is SMART (Simple,
Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely).

3. Write your resolution out with detail. Give yourself a gold
star if you can gather pictures to “paint” the full picture or end result. Why?
Writing and seeing your stated resolution starts making the result “real” in
your brain.

4. Track your results. Again, in writing and with pictures (a
chart that shows 50% complete, a piggy bank half full, a smaller size pair of pants,

5. Celebrate
the small successes along the way. For example, if your goal is to lose 25
pounds, get a pedicure after losing 5 pounds. If your goal is to save money, treat
yourself to a movie when you stay within your budget for the prior month.

6. Forgive
yourself QUICKLY if you stray!

Putting the above in action

1. So, if my ONE thing is
to get healthier, then I might…

2. Put the following SMART
actions on a chart that I update daily, i.e.:

       – Drink 8 glasses of plain water per day

       – Exercise at home or at the gym 3 times per week

       – Substitute a fruit and vegetable smoothie for
one meal a day, 5 days a week

       – Take one yoga class a week to increase
flexibility and inner peace                                                

3. Create a success or
picture board that shows me doing some of the above or participating in
activities that I can do  because I am healthy or getting healthier, such as
water skiing or playing ball with my kids.

4. The tracking will
happen on the chart I created for Step #2.

5. I will celebrate by participating
in activities that I enjoy with friends and family for each week that I
complete my actions. After all, they really aren’t hard and they really don’t
take much time, so I CAN do this.

6. WHEN, not IF, I have a
week that I don’t complete all of my actions, I will still have a small celebration activity for the overall progress
that I’ve made since the beginning of the year because I will feel better and
look better than I did just a short time ago.

Okay, it’s your turn. Give
me your plans, because I am always looking for something to add or upgrade on
mine. Also, we would love to hear about your
progress along the way…life is a journey – not a destination!