New year, same resolution. How can this be? You make a resolution on January 1st and then work at it for one maybe two weeks… and then something (or more like NOTHING!) happens. How to have it be different this year?
When discovering how to actually keep New Year’s resolutions, I took a look at why it is that we often don’t keep them. Once I understood that – I could apply a quick and easy solution to keeping them… year after year! Here it is…
Most resolutions are all about long term goals and setting new habits (getting in shape, paying off debt, getting organized laying off chocolate, etc.) which often don’t have a short term benefit. For example, you say you want to be healthy, but going to the gym has no short term reward. Sitting on the couch with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s on the other hand, now that’s rewarding. And, since there is no short-term benefit, you can almost always put it off until tomorrow… and the next day and the next day and the day after that.
So, here is the easy fix to this age old dilemma: reward yourself in the short term.
Choose your resolution. Declare it. Then take it one step further. Set up short-term rewards for each step you make toward achieving your long-term goal. For example, go to the gym 3 days in a row then take an entire day off! Did you stick to veggies all week? Eat whatever you want on Saturday. A fantastic rewards program that works for any resolution and that you can easily set up for yourself, is rewarding yourself with cash – you may even want to decide what the cash is going to be used for (additional motivation!). Set aside as set amount of money for yourself each time you reach your short-term goal. At the end of the year – you will have kept your resolution, made it a habit and have extra cash set aside to boot.
Just think, if you are finally able to stick to just one resolution each year just think what an evolved person you will be ten, twenty, thirty and forty well-kept resolutions from now! And let’s just get real – if you’ve tried the same resolution year after year with the same (lack of) results, do yourself a favor and give something new a try this year pretty please! Even if it’s only to give us all a break from that same resolution of yours already. Besides, taking the focus off something and concentrating on something new can be just what you need to have them both come to fruition.
*For additional details about this plan – read Consider it Done, How to Accomplish 228 of Life’s Trickiest Tasks.
What is your resolution this year? And how will you reward yourself in the short term?
Happy New Year!