On the last day of the year, almost anyone is bound to make a few New Year’s resolutions. However, realistically it is rare for those resolutions to be kept, and instead forgotten within weeks. But according to Dr Richard Wiseman’s experiment, it was found that utilising other techniques instead of just keeping them to oneself was more effective in carrying out those resolutions. Here are ten methods to help keep one’s New Year’s resolution successful:
- Make one resolution only: Rather than making many false promises, it is better to concentrate your efforts into one.
- Tell someone to remind you: A resolution only in one’s mind is bound to be forgotten. Instead, tell a friend or a loved one to remind you, or write up a big sign or post a picture somewhere visible.
- Plan ahead: Making resolutions requires planning; instead of making an impromptu resolution on the night, think for a few days beforehand for a more effective plan.
- Be specific: Vague plans always fail. Instead of “I will quit smoking”, try something specific like “I will smoke one cigarette less for every two days”.
- Do not reuse old resolutions: Reusing resolutions will only bring regret and frustration from constant failure, so either make a fresh resolution or use a different approach, such as changing “I will get better grades” to “I will study more”.
- Set S.M.A.R.T goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-based goals are significantly more effective and efficient. For example, if you are looking for a new job, rewrite your CV, set goals you can keep for every new week and apply for a job twice every week.
- Think positively: Rather than thinking of the repercussions of not making a resolution, think of the rewards of keeping the resolution.
- Carrot over stick: Think how your life will improve from the resolution. For instance, deciding to socialise more will bring more friends, more fun and more happiness into your life.
- Visualise: Seeing yourself carrying out the resolution and reaping the reward will help keep the resolution.
- Be Persistent: Forming habits take time, so do not blame yourself or give up when you slip up a few times. Instead, you must keep trying with perseverance and confidence.
Lastly, the research also found that women are worse at keeping resolutions compared to men (30% vs 37% respectively).