New Year resolutions … many make them, few keep them. In fact, according to Statistic Brain, 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions each year, but only 8% of us actually achieve them. This means that for those of us that made resolutions this year, the odds are stacked against us. So how can we be sure that we don’t become just another statistic? Here are a few tips to help keep those resolutions on track:
Write them down. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just grab a crayon and the nearest piece of toilet paper and write your resolutions down. Once you have them written down, hang them in a place where you will see them often, such as on the fridge, on the bathroom mirror, or even on the dashboard of your car. We all know that out of sight can mean out of mind, so make sure you keep those resolutions in sight.
Keep it simple. Don’t overdo it with the resolutions. The more we have to focus on, the less likely we are to be successful, so pick only one or two resolutions to be your focus for the year. You can always pick those other resolutions up next year.
Set goals that are attainable. Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting resolutions that are near impossible for you to achieve. For example, if you want to begin saving money this year, don’t resolve to put away $20,000 in twelve months. Instead, set an amount that is much more achievable, such as $1,200. Better yet, take the 52 Week Money Challenge to make saving even easier.
Promise yourself you will keep at it for at least 66 days. I know this sounds strange, but there is scientific study to back it up. 66 days is the number of days it takes to adopt a new habit. So try to really focus for those first 66 days and that lifestyle change will become a reality. Learn more about it in this article from Psych Central.
Utilize your smartphone to help you reach your goals. It turns out your phone is good for more than just uploading pictures to Facebook and playing Candy Crush Saga. That are a multitude of apps available that can provide resources and support to help you attain your goals. There is Happy Scale, WellnessFX, and Level Money, to name a few. Check out this Forbes article for more helpful apps to help you with your resolutions.
There you have it, five tips to help you keep ( and reach) those resolutions. In the spirit of taking my own advice, I have set two resolutions for myself this year and am taking steps to achieve them:
Resolution number one: Get to work on time. It sounds simple, but this has been a struggle of mine for years and now that I have to drop off two kids at two places in the morning before work, it has felt near impossible to be timely. To achieve my goal, I have resolved to get up thirty minutes earlier each morning. I have been doing this for three weeks now and, give or take a day or two, I have been making it to work by eight a.m. It is still tough for me to get up when it is still dark outside, but I just have to make it to day 66 and then I will have replaced an old habit (staying in bed until the very last minute) with a new habit (getting up at the butt crack of dawn).
Resolution number two: Get organized. I have actually made this resolution each year for at least the last four or five years, but have had trouble making much headway. Many times throughout the year I will renew my vow to get organized, usually while running around in frustration trying to find something I need but have no idea where it may have ended up. I inevitably let the vow go once I have found what I was so desperately looking for. This year I decided to take the task seriously and started by cleaning out the garage, getting rid of or donating anything that we don’t use or need. I have to admit, it felt pretty good when we were done and saw the result. Who knew our garage was so spacious? I followed the success of the garage with cleaning out and organizing all the closets in the house, donating any clothes, jackets, toys, etc. that we don’t use or need. I then followed that project up by hiring a service to come clean my house every other week. Now, I know what you’re thinking, what does cleaning have to do with staying organized? Well keeping a tidy house and staying organized kind of go hand in hand. A dirty house certainly doesn’t feel organized, and I work full time and have a family to take care of, so time to clean is limited. Plus, knowing that a stranger will be coming to my house to clean pretty much forces me to keep things picked up and put where they go. I don’t want the cleaning ladies whispering behind my back about my horrid housekeeping skills, so even if things get a little awry during the week, the night before the cleaning service comes everything is picked up and put away. I still have a ways to go, the junk drawers need to be tackled (shudder), but Rome wasn’t built in a day and I’m only 21 days in, so I have time to keep plugging away at it.
Just remember, slow and steady wins the race. Take baby steps toward reaching your goals, stay focused, and you will get there. Happy New Year!
I shared my resolutions with you, now share yours with me in the comment section below.