Almost half of all adults make a New Year’s resolution. But once the party hats and horns are put away, it’s hard to muster up the ambition to follow through. It only takes one week and about 25% of resolution makers have already lost focus. According to University of Pennsylvania research, 77% of resolution makers are still on target after six months, and only about 19% will have stayed the course to allow for a sustained behavior change.
There are a number of factors that get in the way of reaching our goals, but when you decide you need to change, you really can. There are some simple things to keep in mind if you think you’re one of the 19% who needs to make a change, but worries that you’ll fall short.
Don’t keep your goal a secret, publicly acclaim your good intention to at least one other person if not a whole office full. The more you have committed yourself verbally the more likely you will follow through. Follow through is easier when the flip side is experiencing embarrassment or shame. Tell everyone the date you are going to quit smoking and it will be much easier to resist a cigarette than if no one knows of your plan.
Be careful not to set yourself up for failure by picking a goal that is greater than the energy level you have to accomplish it. Running a marathon takes a lot more effort than going for a walk. Our overall energy to achieve a goals starts with our brain, so it’s important that you take good care of it. If you are dehydrated or lack essential nutrition like minerals and vitamins, then your brain wave signaling will slow down and your body will too. It is hard to be passionate about reaching a goal when every cell in your body just wants a nap. Simple things that we don’t even think about can get in the way of achieving our goals. Most people don’t realize that eating fast food and too few fruits and vegetables really will drain you of energy.
It’s easier to be sure that you are giving your body and brain the support it needs if you learn to listen closely. If you notice what time of day your fatigue sets in, look back at your behaviors and choices and see if you can pin point the problem. Maybe you are tired because you skipped breakfast or ate only cookies for lunch. Maybe you feel like giving up on your goal due to low energy because you haven’t had any aerobic exercise in several days, weeks or months. Or maybe you have bottled up stress and not problem solved ways to feel better. Sometimes you just need to get your tears out.
One small goal makes more sense than a big unreachable goal, but, with diligence, you really can make the changes you need to in order to reach your full potential. If you feel like letting go of your resolution goals then you may need to identify the reasons why and start by addressing these first. Another helpful hint is to reach out for a buddy, as everything is easier when done with support.