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New Year's Resolutions - How to Make Them Stick

Updated on December 28, 2008

New Year, Old Plan

Well, you have your dancing shoes on, the tickets are in your pocket and you've made a visit to the bank machine to get extra money. One last mental check that you have everything and you are ready to leave for the New Year's Eve party. While driving there, you go over your answers to that age old question - what is your New Year's Resolution?

Two days ago you decided your New Year's resolution might be to lose ten pounds or finally take that class you have been talking about for years. No problem.

Maybe this time, you will actually carry through. Yeah, sure. You might just swing it this time.

New Year's Resolution Products

Make Those Resolutions Sticky

It is possible to make resolutions and stick to them.  While there are no guarantees, the following suggestions may help:

  • Say, "I will" instead of, "I will try."  Goals should be something that you really want to change.  If your decision to quit smoking isn't all that important to you, then you will lack the drive and determination to see it through.
  • Use the buddy system.  Get together with a trusted friend for support.  Each of you lay out the details of your resolution and what kind of help you would like from each other.  For example, make arrangements to call your resolutions partner for sympathy and strength when the urge to eat starts threatening your goals of losing weight.
  • Make a contract with yourself.  The bargain should be in a positive vein, perhaps a reward upon completion of your goal.  If you are working on sticking to your budget, buy yourself something (without depleting all the money you've saved) that you have been denying yourself.  It does not have to be large, just something that is a reminder of your success.  Every time you look at it, you will get a boost.
  •  Use as many reminders as you feel necessary.  Put a sign on the refrigerator, your desk, the dashboard of your car.  Mark your projected completion date very clearly and noticeably on the calendar - "SPARE ROOM FINISHED - CELEBRATE!"
  • It takes approximately twenty-one repetitions to create (or break) a habit.  Count down as you go - only 15 more breaks without coffee, only 10 more days of clearing off your desk properly every night before you go home.  This will give you a light at the end of the tunnerl; short lived rather than something that has to be endured over an endless period of time.
  • Make a game of it will small rewards along the way.  If you have lost the first five of the twenty pound you are resolved to lose, go to the show to catch that movie you thought sounded good.  A really effective method is to complete with someone.  If you and Joe or Josephine Blow have both set your sights on increasing your sales quota, you can make a game of beating your cohort.  When the other person decides to make a 10% increase by March the first, you aim at going 15% higher by February twenty-eighth.  When you have accomplished your goal, the game is complete.

Regardless of your resolutions, you can make them stick with the glue of desire and determination.  You can do it!

Happy New Year!


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