Time for a New Year Resolution?

Another January has rolled around and it’s time to make those New Year resolutions. Or is it? If you’re like many people you may have given up this January tradition altogether. The truth is most of us are not very good at sticking with resolutions. We can say what we want to achieve but making the changes required is where it all breaks down. According to research 88% of resolutions fail (Richard Wiseman, from University of Bristol). Change is hard, even if the resolution is as simple as being happier, but there are ways to make it easier.

Many of our Happiness Retreat participants are making changes that create a greater sense of wellbeing and happiness in their lives and making it stick by using the strategies listed below:

  1. Create a compelling vision – what will it look like and feel like when you reach your goal? Spend some time on this one as it is the key to staying motivated.
  2. Set realistic expectations – underestimating the time it will take to reach your goal can derail your efforts. Make sure you are not expecting too much, too soon.
  3. Make a plan – make sure you have small measures of success along with bigger milestones so that you can chart your progress and gain confidence that you will reach your goal.
  4. Check the downside of change – take some time to explore what you will have to give up to create your new habit. For example early morning jogging means giving up sleep. Is it worth it to you? If not, schedule runs at lunch time or the evening.
  5. Get support from your friends.
  6. Be gentle with yourself – beating yourself up if you don’t reach a mini-milestone can be counter productive. Accepting mistakes and learning from them is more likely to lead to successful change. You may start with resolutions but successful change is more likely to stick if you take the time to evolve into the new you.

Whatever you resolve to do this year, here is hoping 2015 is your best year ever!

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