How to Increase Your Probability of Achieving Your New Years Resolution

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When New Years rolls around, a lot of people promise themselves that the coming year is the one, the year that will be full of great changes and improvements in their lives. Then we wake up each day and live our lives the same as the previous year.

Just like the ‘lots’ of people, I’m also full of broken New Year’s resolution promises. I always tell myself that I will commit to one thing or another, but I admit; I don’t remember my resolutions from last year. It’s clear that making New Year’s resolutions haven’t worked out for me.

Wanting to increase my probability of achieving my resolutions this year, I did research and found that people at Quirkology concluded that from a study of over 3,000 people that only 12% achieved their New Year’s resolution goals. To make matters more amusing, 52% of the over 3,000 people were confident that they would achieve their goal when they first committed to it. (Does this also mean that 48% made a New Year’s resolution was going into it knowing that they’ll fail?) Although I would have liked to see a higher percentage, there are ways to improve your odds of success.
To increase your odds of success, Quirkology gives us some suggestions to help improve your odds of achieving your resolution. Men tend to achieve 22% more often when they used goal setting as a strategy, while women boosted their success rate by 10% when they shared their goals with others to gain support.
Here are some other tips from the Quirkology study:

  • Only One Resolution – Trying to focus on multiple resolutions instead of one will split your focus and energy making it less likely that you’ll achieve your goals. Try concentrating on one resolution which will laser focus your energy to get your resolution achieved. One resolution achieved is much better than 10 failed resolutions.
  • Specify Your Resolution – If you tell yourself that your resolution is to create a successful e-commerce site, there is no context to what you want to achieve. Specify in detail what your resolution is. Is it to make a certain amount of revenue? If so how much do you want to make by the end of the year? Is it $500,000? $5,000,000? Do you want to grow x% compared to last year? When do you want to achieve your goal by? Make your resolution as specific as possible so that you know exactly where you want to be.
  • Be Persistent and Don’t Give Up – We all fall off the ball here and there, but we have to keep getting back on the ball as soon as we fall off. If you stall or fail to meet a deadline, get back into your routine as soon as you can. We also need to know that new habits will take a long time to establish. Some habits may easy to establish and may be achievable in just one month, while others habits may take well over a year.

Other Suggestions to Increase Your Odds:

  • Instead of a long 1-year commitment, try a shorter timeframe. How about a 200-day challenge? 100-day challenge? 30-day challenge? Using a shorter timeframe may work for you by helping you build up confidence and motivation to challenge yourself to bigger goals.
  • If you want to achieve more than one resolution, try aiming for goals in different areas. If you want to learn another language, make your other resolution a physical goal such as being able to run a half-marathon, etc.
  • You need to know the reason why you want to achieve a certain goal. Do you want to lose weight because you want to look good at the beach? Or is it because you’re facing health problems and need to shed some extra weight?

What are your resolutions for 2011? Will this year be the year you change your life? If you decide to challenge yourself in 2011, best of luck to you!

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