Like many, your New Year will have started with great promise, resolution list in hand, it’s transformative powers making you feel like the Boss… You were going to get fit, eat healthy, make a study plan, drink less (ok maybe not that one) and save some cash…
2nd week into Feb, where is that magical list now?
Apparently, only 8% of people stick to their resolutions and 75% only maintain it throughout the first week in January. The question is why?
A Long list of positive self-help vibes is great, however, without a plan, a clear path on which to skip happily towards your goals, it will remain just that… a pretty list of what could have been.
I know… depressing right? But there is a solution.
According to Marcelo Campos, a lecturer at Harvard Medical School, if you set your resolutions right you can achieve success. Writing in a blog post for Harvard Health, Campos explained that answering five specific questions can give you a push in the right direction when it comes to sticking to New Year’s resolutions.
So ask yourself…
1: Why do you want to make the change?
Go deep here, look beyond the need to change and understand the benefits of the change.
Example: You want to save money. Why? What is the purpose? What is the money for? A special treat for yourself? A holiday?
2: Is your goal concrete and measurable?
A goal should be specific and achievable, don’t be too ambitious.
Example: How much do you need to save to achieve your goal?
Look at your finances and ask yourself if it is truly achievable. If its not, adjust your expectations so that it is. Don’t try and save money that isn’t there.
3: What is your plan?
As Benjamin Franklin said, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Be realistic about what you can do, keep it simple and be precise.
Example: How will you save money? Perhaps by eating out less, or having that yummy Starbucks twice a week instead of 5?
4: Who can support you as your work toward change?
Tell your flatmates, your friends & family. Post it on social media. Let everyone know you’re trying to achieve something, get their support. Once you have told the people that care about you it will feel like more of a commitment.
Example: Letting your flatmates know you’re saving for a holiday will make things easier when everyone is rounding up cash for the weekly Dominos binge. You can decline without feeling bad.
5: How will you celebrate your victories?
Often forgotten, this last step is vital to the continued success of your goal.
Tell your mates, use the power of community to encourage commitment to the plan to reap the rewards. Write it down in your diary or update that clever spreadsheet you made.
Acknowledge your achievement and appreciate that you are a step closer to sipping that cool beer on the beach
This is a journey… Don’t be too hard on yourself if you fail, don’t allow setbacks to throw you off course. So you had three coffees instead of 2, or you had to fork out for an unexpected bill.
You don’t need to wait for a New Year to reset, you can regroup, re-evaluate your goal and start again at any time. Don’t quit.
Image Credit: EyeEm