New Year’s Resolutions.... Are you sticking to yours?

February 3, 2016, 2:12pm

By Deidre Kwenani, Ndapunikwa Investments

Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution you didn’t stick to? New Year’s Resolutions are usually grandiose plans tied to unrealistic timelines; and while setting goals can be healthy and positive, setting realistic timelines for attaining your goals is equally important.

For a bit of entertainment, let’s look at what the typical resolutions look like.

According to Time.com, the top ten New Year’s Resolutions involve: weight loss; quitting smoking; learning something new; eating healthier; getting out of debt or saving money; spending more time with family; traveling; having less stress; volunteering; and consuming less alcohol. Now, these all sound well and good, but research shows that people tend to abort their resolutions without success the majority of the time. In fact, only 8 % of people who make New Year’s Resolutions are successful in achieving them. Additionally, 24% of people try and fail each year, like a depressing cycle (statisticbrain.com).

Now that we know some of the facts, let’s look at ways to be SUCCESSFUL with the goals we set, whether they are once-per-year-type-of-goals like New Year’s Resolutions, or prompted mid-year by an inspiring quote, a meaningful conversation, a motivational book/speaker, or simply by a fleeting thought. The UK’s NHS suggests following these ten guidelines in order to reach your goals.

1. Make only one resolution. Your chances of success are greater when you channel energy into changing just one aspect of your behaviour.

2. Take some time to think about and reflect upon what you really want to achieve.

3. Avoid previous resolutions. Deciding to revisit a past resolution sets you up for frustration and disappointment.

4. Don’t run with the crowd and go with the usual resolutions. Instead think about what you really want out of life.

5. Break your goal into a series of steps, focusing on creating sub-goals that are concrete, measurable and time-based.

6. Tell your friends and family about your goals. You're more likely to get support in times of difficulty and want to avoid failure.

7. Regularly remind yourself of the benefits associated with achieving your goals by creating a checklist of how life would be better once you obtain your aim.

8. Give yourself a small reward whenever you achieve a sub-goal, thus maintaining motivation and a sense of progress.

9. Make your plans and progress concrete by keeping a handwritten journal, completing a computer spreadsheet or covering a notice board with graphs or pictures.

10. Expect to revert to your old habits from time to time. Treat any failure as a temporary setback rather than a reason to give up altogether (www.nhs.uk/pages/home.aspx)

These are all great things to consider when developing and executing your goals, whether they financial goals, health goals, business goals, or the like! Remember it’s never too late to establish a goal, and don’t forget to make them SMART- specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, and timely!

If you desire assistance in developing and achieving your health related goals, working with a wellness advisor might be the way to go. Having experience in wellness advising, I’m happy to set up a one-to-one session with anyone interested. I also offer group sessions. Feel free to contact me with any queries you have.

Photos Credits:
cover photo: www.mercatornet.com
Mid-text photo: socialmediaweek.org