Hate to be a downer but research indicates that only 8% of folks who make New Year’s Resolutions actually keep them. Bah humbug, I know. Why is this number so low? People often set really lofty goals but skip the prep needed to achieve them. We say things like, “I’m going to stop yelling at my kids. I’m going to exercise every day. I’m going to stress less.” These are admirable, amazing resolutions but it’s hard to make them stick if you don’t line up resources, support and a really good game plan.
Ready to do things differently this year and be one of the 8% who can chant “Oh yeah! Kept my resolution, baby,” come next December? Here are my four tips for setting resolutions that are made to last:
Simple: Keep your goal bite-sized and uncomplicated. Instead of saying, ‘I’m going to eat healthier,’ consider saying, 'I’m going to eat a vegetable every day.' Instead of saying, ‘I’m going to yell at my kids less,’ decide to read one book about a proven, positive discipline philosophy.
Sustainable: I’m not talking about eco-friendly resolutions, although your goal might be very green. By sustainable, I mean realistic. Ask yourself these questions: Can I realistically keep this going? Can I sustain this commitment? My recommendation is to choose manageable resolutions that can be added into your every day routine.
Strategy: If you want your resolution to stick, make sure you design a thorough game plan. If your goal is to lose weight, find a well-known program or trainer that feels like a fit for you and sign up, ASAP! Regardless of your mission, you need a strategy to acheive true success.
Support: Serious about making a change in the New Year? Announce your intentions and rally support around you. Choose people and resources that will encourage you when you veer off course. Family, friends, social media groups, message boards and support groups can cheer you on and help you weather the challenges of keeping your commitment.
Let me give you a personal example: One of my NYE resolutions for 2016 is to smile more. The deep frown lines between my eyes and across my forehead tell me that I’m doing too much fretting and not enough giggling.
Is this resolution simple and sustainable? Yup.
My strategy involves watching more comedies, writing a gratitude every day, posting reminders and following folks on Twitter who crack me up.
As for support, I’m sharing my commitment with my family in hopes that they will lend me material for laughter and give me a squeeze when I’m taking life way too seriously.
Happy New Year all of you amazing parents! Join me in smiling more. Join me in setting a resolution that is built to last. Or just join me in getting through every day with your sanity in tact and your kids safe and sound. That’s a resolution that all of us parents can be on board with!