It's that time of year again as 2016 comes to a close and a brand-new year--2017--fast approaches. Researchers have found that about 60% of us make New Year's resolutions each year, but only about 8% are successful in achieving them.
According to Mark Youngblood, founder of Inner Mastery, Inc., this failure to turn New Year's resolutions into successful outcomes is because most of us take the completely wrong approach when we decide on our resolutions.
So, what's the right approach? According to Mark, you should follow these 7 steps to avoid another New Year's resolution letdown.
1. Make sure it's a change YOU want to make
Maybe you are being pressured by your boss, spouse, or someone else who thinks they know what is best for you. That's not a reason to change. Your life is yours to live. Change the things in your life that you want--changes that will benefit you and bring you the greatest happiness, health, and fulfillment. Acknowledge their concern and then hold your ground, you will be much happier and much more likely to succeed.
Identify a small number of changes--one is best and no more than three--and commit yourself to these. Your life already has a lot of pressures, making changes will add to those pressures. Also, changes take time which no doubt is a precious commodity for you. Finally, change takes willpower, and willpower gets depleted over the course of a day. The more things you try to do, the harder it will be to keep up your energy and drive.
3. Create a vivid mental picture of what you will be like after your change
Visualization engages your subconscious in helping you to achieve your goals. When you visualize yourself being successful, create a vivid representation, with pictures, sound, and sensations. That way you will activate more of your brain and increase your likelihood of success. Be sure to picture yourself enjoying the benefits of the new you.
4. Get a success partner
Having someone you are accountable to for progress toward your goals is a great way to set yourself up for success. Partner with a friend or family member and conduct a brief "accountability call" each week. It's simple: your partner asks you two questions. First, what did you accomplish this week? Second, what are your goals and plans for next week? They should only encourage you, not criticize or shame. Stick to your call schedule and watch the completed goals pile up!
5. Create a quick win to build momentum
Feeling encouraged, and keeping your hope and belief that you can succeed high, are keys to your success. To give yourself a jumpstart on your change, set a meaningful goal that you can achieve fairly quickly and easily. Hit that goal and then celebrate with friends.
6. Set small, achievable daily and weekly goals that enable you to build a track record of success
After your quick win, you want to sustain your progress by setting small goals that you know you can achieve. Steady progress is much more effective than trying to go for big wins, falling short, and then getting discouraged.
7. Use technology to support and encourage you
There are apps to support almost any kind of change you want to make. Take advantage of them. They will help you track your changes and send you reminders, badges, and rewards for hitting your targets, and much more. You can also make use of the great tools built right into your phone, like calendar entries, reminders, and alarms to alert you.