New Year’s Resolutions: Here’s How to Succeed.

***This is a synopsis of an article published in Forbes magazine. 

Research states that half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions, yet only 8% keep their resolutions and reach their goals. Dr. Paul Marciano, Ph.D., is a behavioral psychologist on a mission to help us develop the right skills and strategies to stick with our New Year’s resolutions. Here are his seven principles for resolution success:

  1. Clearly define your goals. Define the “it.” What is it that you are trying to accomplish? He suggests being S.M.A.R.T. about your goals: choose resolutions that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound
  2. Track your progress. Dr. Marciano stresses that, “if you can measure it, you can change it.” Although there are apps for everything these days, try going old school: make a list, create a calendar and hang it on your fridge or on your bathroom mirror. Check off your milestones as you go. It is motivating to see how far you’ve gone and how far you have yet to go. 
  3. Have patience. Accept your humanness. Some days you’ll see results and some days you will experience setbacks. Be kind to yourself and remain present. Do what you can. Everything that has longevity takes time to create. 
  4. Publicize your goals to friends and family. We are meant to work together and support each other. Our resolutions need encouragement, too. And, when you declare your goals, your dreams to others, you are more likely to succeed, because, you now have cheerleaders. Share your goals with your family and friends. Don’t be afraid to lean on them on the days when you feel like giving up or you have a slip up — it will help keep you on your path to success. 
  5. Put it on your schedule. Anyone can make the time to do anything if it becomes his or her priority. Schedule your resolutions in your calendar just like you would a doctor’s appointment or the kids’ soccer tournament. Priorities come first and they get completed. 
  6. Stop “all or nothing” thinking; it’s better do something than nothing. Sometimes when we can’t do it all, we get overwhelmed and then we don’t do anything. Do what you can and be proud of what you’ve done. If you only have ten minutes to exercise, give all of yourself to the ten minutes you do have. It all adds up in the end.
  7. Get up, when you slip up.Mistakes teach us what we need to do differently next time. Don’t give up; just do things differently. If you weren’t able to stick to an exercise program in the mornings, try switching it to the evenings. If going without sugar completely doesn’t work for you, have a little dark chocolate each day. There’s always a way to keep going, just adjust, but don’t stop. 

Dr. Marciano believes that success is not a product of willpower, rather a balance of skills, strategy and patience. We are all capable of accomplishing our goals if we make them a priority, take our time, ask for support and maintain a positive outlook. 

Happy New Year! 

Read the full article here.

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