Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution

Do you remember all those New Year’s resolutions you made? Losing weight, getting a six pack, practicing that guitar you got hidden somewhere, losing weight, being more organized, saving money, and losing weight? Do you remember what happened to all of them? You don’t? Well me neither.

The thing is New Year’s resolutions are jinxed from the start. You are terribly pleased with the New Year, full of energy and will power, bursting with enthusiasm, but by the time February finishes its back to the blueberry cheese cake, the couch, and complaining about office. You just can’t help it. It happens! It’s not really your fault. Keeping that enthusiasm going for a year is tough. Once we are fixed in a groove, its very difficult to get out of it. It’s in the genes (isn’t everything?).

But here are some tips that might help even the odds this year:

First, start with big changes, not small ones, a strategy likely to yield immediate, noticeable benefits that inspire more positive change.

The second is to act like the kind of person you are trying to become; even if you hit the jogging trail with 30 pounds of flab, think of yourself as the jock you want to be.

The third strategy is to “reframe” the situation. Recovering alcoholics, for example, have a higher chance of success if they reframe their sober life as a divorce from a tumultuous love affair with drinking, because they can then look back at their old life as a romantic adventure, rather than a sinkhole of regret.

The fourth, and crucial, strategy, is based on the “don’t do it alone” advice that is the bedrock of 12-step programs.

Try these and see what it does for your resolutions! (And if it works, gimme a buzz!)

Happy New Year by the way, bloggers!

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1 comment
  1. Andrus said:

    There are a few things that have proven to significantly increase the chances of keeping your (New Year’s) resolutions.

    First, make it public. The more friends (or enemies) know you want to quit smoking or get a new job, the better. Peer pressure can be a good thing.

    Secondly it helps to have a financial incentive. If you know you will lose a hundred dollars when you light that cigarette, will you still do it?

    And then there are no-brainers like the need to be specific and have a definite date in mind.

    Myself and a few friends took all of the above and created http://www.pledgehammer.com on our free time. Not only does it help to make and keep resolutions, it also helps charities raise more money via donations. Would be great to get more people to try it out and hear your feedback.

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