How can I make New Year’s resolutions I’ll stick to?

Every year, I make New Year’s resolutions with every intention of keeping them, only to break them within a couple of weeks. I don’t seem to have any willpower! I work hard to achieve all kinds of things in my work life, so why can’t I do the same for personal goals?

A lot of people make New Year’s resolutions and then don’t keep them. In fact, psychologists at the University of Hertfordshire found that 78% of people fail to keep them.

Factors which helped the 22% who did keep their resolutions included breaking bigger goals into smaller steps, not being put off by temporary set-backs and lapses, and setting up rewards for each step achieved.

Leverage your life plan

Personally, I think it helps to set your goals in context of what you want to achieve for your life. New Year’s resolutions are easily swamped by daily events, but making them into logical building blocks or stepping stones toward a bigger aim can give you more motivation to stick to them.

Try working out why this resolution is important to you: what will it lead to? What will be different because you did this? What else will you be able to achieve as a result of keeping your resolution?

For instance, giving up smoking is laudable as an aim in its own right, but the pay-off is in your health, the health of those around you, how fast you can walk and what else you could buy with the money you save. It’s easier to value these pay-offs if your overall aim is a fitter, richer you.

A bigger step is to use the New Year as a time to reassess your life priorities; what you’ve achieved personally and professionally up to now, and where you would like to be, personally and professionally, a year or three from now. Then set your New Year’s resolutions as the first steps on that path.

As to your finding achieving for work easier than achieving your own resolutions, maybe there’s a New Year’s resolution in there, somewhere.

December 29th, 2009 | Category: career changer | No Comments »

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