New Year’s Resolutions: How To Maintain & Accomplish Your Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions Tips Making

New Year’s Resolutions:

How To Maintain & Accomplish Your Resolutions


Every year we construct a list of New Year’s resolutions  – either physically or mentally, which we aspire to accomplish in hopes of a better and brighter future. We write down things like "lose weight", "quit smoking", and "exercise more". These resolutions sound like things we should do and need to do, but we’re generally being impractical and reaching for the impossible. 

Dropping a few pounds and finally biting the bullet on your nicotine habit isn’t exactly impossible, but resolutions generally fail due to impracticability. In my experience, I have found that resolutions do better when they target a quality, personality trait, or general lifestyle choice that isn’t too specific or difficult. That likely runs the risk of not making much sense, but I like to keep things like losing weight or exercising more as goals that I can start (or end) any time of the year. I want the year as a whole to reflect a greater challenge: transforming who I am or what I can be as a person — and not a habit-forming or overweight person. 

I’ve also found much greater success and better results when I write down my New Year’s resolutions. Mental notes are great, but research studies have proven the success rate to dramatically increase when goals are written down — but also revisited and followed up on regularly. Make it a habit (and write this down in your planner or calendar!) to revisit your resolutions and make refinements on a regular basis. Conducting quarterly resolution updates will help you make necessary changes, adjustments, and remind yourself of the end goal. For example, I may have resolved to lose weight, but become pregnant in March and need to refine my yearly goals. Things happen and expectations change — there’s nothing wrong with revising your resolutions! 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Earlier today, I was reading the official Google blog, which talked about a few ways they want to help us keep our New Year’s resolutions this year. Google has put together a great list of resources that we can use to accomplish our New Year’s resolutions in 2013. Their resources provide assistance for us to accomplish any goals or resolutions that we may have created for 2013. You’ll find everything from a weekly meal planner, learning to crochet a granny square, and a simple budget template to manage your finances.

My favorite part of Google’s resolutions resources is the Google Zeitgeist. Firstly, I always love Google’s "Year in Review" videos, which I had an opportunity to view in January 2012 at the Kenmore Blogger Summit in Chicago. Last years video had me in tears, so I guess you could say they definitely set the bar high for themselves. This years video, which took a look back at 2012, gave me a new perspective on looking forward and the desire to actually make a change -- and make it while looking forward to 2013. 

Google Zeitgeist is an interactive map which allows users to add their New Year’s resolution to a map. Add your 2013 resolutions to the map and read what others are resolving to do all around the world. 

Google Zeitgeist New Years Resolutions

"Research shows that you’re more likely to achieve your resolutions if you write them down and have support. Try sharing your goals with communities around you. When you’re ready to share your new year’s ambition with the world, or if you’re interested in seeing what resolutions look like around the globe, add it to the interactive resolution map on [Google's] 2012 Zeitgeist website."Official Google Blog


THE RESEARCH {learning}

Research shows that the first two weeks of resolutions generally start off strong, but things change by February when we start to backslide and wind up in the same place doing the same thing – and resolving for the same changes by the following December. We repeatedly write the same resolutions year after year — and never succeed, but often find ourselves even further behind. Why are we constantly failing at our resolutions? Are we ALL that delusional and impractical? Yes, we are.

FACT: Approximately 50% of the population makes resolutions each New Year.

FACT: The top resolutions are weight loss, stopping smoking,  exercise, debt reduction and better money management.

FACT:According to StatisticBrain.com, "lose weight" is the #1 New Year’s Resolution for 2012

FACT: StatisticBrain.com also reveals that 75% of people will maintain their resolutions for the first week of 2012, but only 46% of us will carry through 6 or more months. 

Success New Years Resolutions


CULTURAL PROCRASTINATION {defining}

According to Timothy Pychyl, a professor of psychology at Carleton University in Canada, resolutions are a form of "cultural procrastination," which is an effort to reinvent oneself. We create resolutions in an effort to motivate ourselves. Pychyl says that people aren’t ready to change their [bad] habits, which is the reason that we have such a high failure rate for our resolutions. ,


FALSE HOPE SYNDROME {defining}

Psychology professor, Peter Herman,  coined the term "false hope syndrome," which means a resolution is significantly unrealistic and misaligned with internal views that we perceive for ourselves. With reflection upon making positive affirmations about yourself, "false hope syndrome" attests to the idea that we create positive affirmations about ourselves that we don’t truly believe to be possible. When these positive affirmations don’t work out, they can cause damage to self-esteem.

Opportunity New Year Quote  


TIPS TO STAY SERIOUS {learning}

→ Set realistic, practical, and specific goals. [Example: "losing weight" is not specific; choose something such as "losing 15 pounds by March 15th"]

→  Don’t create and focus on your resolutions only on New Years Eve. Reflect, look back, and revise. Make it a year long process that you can think about and work on every day.

→ Choose to focus on one resolution as opposed to several. If you choose multiple resolutions, be practical and do not overwhelm yourself!

→ Create a plan that stretches throughout the year with small steps in between. Failure is generally due to a goal that is too big or requires too many big steps/changes at once. Think practical and take baby steps. 

→  Work with a friend or relative to help one another achieve goals: accountability buddy! Make a rule that you have to report all gripes, strides, improvements and failures on a regular basis.

→ Celebrate milestones and take pride in your progress. If you are trying to lose 15 pounds or want to quit smoking, celebrate after 5 pounds or 2-weeks without nicotine. Treat yourself to something nice to keep that big payoff day in plain sight and exciting!

New Years Resolutions Quotes


CREATING A RESOLUTION {doing}

January is already here and we’ve (hopefully) put away our 2013 sunglasses and noisemakers. However, I don’t want you to lose sight of the ability to create a 2013 New Year’s resolution(s) list just yet. There’s still time and plenty of reason to aspire to succeed this year. Here are some helpful resources to help you create, generate, or consider what your best plan of action would be for 2013:

New Year’s Resolution Generator

How to Make a New Year’s Resolution [eHow.com]

Make New Year’s Resolutions For Your Business [Google blog]

What Should Your New Years Resolution Be? [quiz] 


KID CAN DO IT, TOO! {teaching}

It’s simple enough to do and a great tool for your children to start practicing for the future. Start creating a lis tof resolutions with your children at an early age so they can call themselves ‘Resolution Professionals’ once adulthood rolls around. 

According to PBS Kids [Making New Year's Resolutions with Your Child], making it a family tradition is the best way to teach your children the importance of New Year’s resolutions. "Sit down each December and reflect on the past year, discussing your accomplishments and goals, as individuals and as a family. In your resolution conversation you can each talk about what worked this year and what didn’t." Instilling a sense of yearly routine and commitment made by your entire family will help your children see that this can be a community effort through the support and guidance of family. 


RESOLUTION RESOURCES {succeeding} 

USA.gov: Popular New Year’s Resolutions (with resources to help you achieve your goals)

Here are some quick reference resource links for the most popular resolutions found on USA.gov, which offer some great advice and tips on how to accomplish these goals:

♦ Drink Less Alcohol

Eat Healthy Food

Manage Debt

Quit Smoking

♦ Get a Better Education

SHAPE: Must-Have Resources to Accomplish Your Goals in 2013

Forbes: 5 Ways To Make Your New Years Resolutions Stick

Huffington Post: Don’t Sabotage Your New Year’s Resolution Efforts Before You’ve Even Started: 6 Simple Steps

 

Good Luck NYE Resolutions

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Tara A. says

    I spend a long time on the Google Zeitgeist the other day watching the resolutions come up. It was really neat.

  2. says

    Wow – awesome tips Nicole. While we watch Dick Clark’s New Years Eve Show, our family always talks about what we want to accomplish in the new year. It’s become a tradition in our house. :-) Happy New Year!

  3. Leslie Galloway says

    The new year’s resolution Generator is a funny idea! I usually try to do one of each. Something general… to rededicate myself to healthy decisions, and then something specific… like setting up an automatic savings transfer from my checking account.

  4. Kristi Cartwright says

    I’m glad you shared about the google blogs “tools” specifically the meal planner and budget tools, although I think we’ve found a budget tool we like more. But I was surprised to read that only 50$% of people make resolutions–I felt like it would be higher even though I personally don’t make them.

  5. Stacey L says

    Had no idea that lose weight was the top #1 New Year’s Resolution. This is my first time making a new resolution and I’m hoping it works out.

  6. says

    Great article! I used to make grand resolutions but set the bar too high and always failed miserably. Now I make the same one every year, to drink more water!

  7. Jenn Huey says

    Great post. I dont overwhelm myself with a lot of new goals every year. This year I would like to cut soda pop out of my diet. I am going to check out the Google Zeitgeist

  8. Nicole Sender says

    I agree with the research that by February resolutions begin to fade. I have yet to keep the resolution to be better organized that I have made for the past few years. Maybe this year will be the the year!

  9. says

    I enjoyed your article Nicole. I am one who stopped doing resolutions, as I think I set myself up for failure. I am looking forward to looking at the Google Zeitgiest. I haven’t heard of it. I am planning more broad “goals” this year, and hope to have better luck. Thanks for the tips…Hope you are feeling well and getting ready for your new family addtiion soon.

  10. Heather Carter says

    I love these tips- very thorough. I tried my hardest to set VERY REALISTIC goals for myself and although we are only 8 days into the new year I am feeling good this year. I have made a plan of action, steps to achieving my goals- I am serious about, moreso than ever.

  11. Mindy Grant says

    Thank you for the great tips! I’ve made resolutions in the past, only to give up on them very quickly. This year, I decided not to make any resolutions, but to just try to better myself overall, a little at a time, in all of the areas I feel I could make some changes in. I’ve already paid off one huge debt of mine that’s been lingering around for years now, and feel a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders! That gives me more motivation to take care of other things I’ve been meaning to get to!

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