Q: I understand why lots of people make resolutions in the new year, but do they actually follow up on them? What percentage of people actually make lasting changes with New Year's resolutions? ……………………………...Jane, S
A: The beginning of the new year seems like a great place for new beginnings, a clean slate if you will to try again, or try better. Leaving behind the old year, it’s old thoughts, past behavior and unfulfilled intents. Approximately 45% of people make a New Year’s resolution. Of those making serious resolutions, 40 to 45% are still working on it 6 months later. Despite the fact that approximately 100 million Americans make resolutions, only 12% actually attain them. The relatively low success rate of a New Year’s resolution can be markedly improved by following a few guidelines.
Resolutions work best if the result is something good—more time with children, spouse…. As opposed to less of something, like nagging or yelling. The result should make you happier and bring you more joy. Phrase your resolution in a way that works for you, in a ‘yes’ way or a ‘no’ way, avoiding any ‘I shouldn't’ phrases unless that motivates you.
Resolutions also work better if you start with something small enough to maintain, monitor and have continued success along the way. Remembering that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. If you take on a herculean task ie: losing 75lbs in two months, the chances of success are extremely low. But challenging yourself to lose 8-10 in the first month will be much more likely to be successful.
Some Tools For Resolution Keeping
1. Be specific in what you want and create a mantra to remind you of it during the day, ie: “ I will walk ten minutes a day.”
2. Write it Down!! And write projected results with dates along the way. One step at a time.
3. Make time for it in your schedule.
4. Control mind chatter. Ignore all self doubt thoughts and meet all thoughts containing doubt with your mantra from step 1.
5. Find a helpful, supportive, positive partner to keep you accountable, whether it is a group, partner, friend or professional.
6. To overcome stress and overwhelm spend some time getting out of yourself and into a calm supportive space. Try a breathing exercise, yoga, meditation or even just walking.
WebMD reports that 15% of people making resolutions for the New Year are related to fitness. Remember that signing up for a gym membership will not create results, unless you actually do the work. If weight loss is your goal, be specific, write down your plan, and stick to it.
You can start anytime, there are 364 other days besides New Years and everyone of them is a good day to start.
Happy New Year!!
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- Monday, 02 January 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Ask Madalyn