How to Keep Your Resolutions in 2018
Resolutions are like any other goals, except that they’re often made under the influence of champagne. One mistake I’ve seen people make is to set sweeping, unattainable resolutions that fall by the wayside before February. Made with good intentions, we could all use help making them stick.
We know through research that behavioral change is incremental and takes time (66 days on average to develop a new habit). If you’ve had an unwanted behavior for five or ten years (or a lifetime), chances are you’re not going to fix it overnight. Here are my suggestions to make those resolutions stick:
- Start small and be realistic. If you want to exercise more, consider starting a new routine two to three days per week vs. five to seven.
- Tell your friends, spouse, or mentor what you’re working on so they can hold you accountable. Sharing your goals out loud with at least one person increases your chance of success dramatically.
- Track your progress against measurable milestones, and celebrate small wins.
- Keep notes on what you’re thinking, feeling, and doing when you’re achieving your goals. Remember that mindset to find the same positive momentum when you need it in the future.
- Set a reminder to check in with at least one person quarterly and let them know how you’re doing.
- Prefer a stick to a carrot? Sites like stikK help you put money on the line as an incentive for good behavior.
Don’t expect perfection; excellence is good enough. If you slip up just plan on doing a little better tomorrow.