2013 New Year’s Resolutions | 7 Tips to Keep your New Year’s Resolutions | Forbes

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution for 2013? If you did, there is a strong possibility that you will not see it through to the end. According to researcher John Norcross and his colleagues, who published their findings in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, approximately 50% of the population makes resolutions each New Year. Among the top resolutions are weight loss, exercise, stopping smoking, better money management and debt reduction.

If you decided to commit to a New Year’s resolution, a Forbes article suggests 7 ways for you to achieve your goal:

Daily Buzz TV interviews Jada Collins about the Forbes 7 Tips
7 Strategies for Highly Effective New Year Resolutions

1.   Know Your Why.  For a resolution to stick, it has to be aligned with your core values. We all want to  look better or get richer, but your resolutions have to go beyond superficial desires and connect with what truly matters most to you. In other words, you have to “Know your why” and feel truly passionate about the goals you set for yourself. If you don’t, then when the going gets tough or your alarm goes off at 5:30am, you won’t have the resolve to stick to your plan.  Connect your resolutions to those things that give you a deeper sense of purpose and align with your core values. When your resolutions connect to a deeper sense of purpose, it compels you not to think small or play safe, but to dig deep and stay the course when the going gets tough – no matter how many hurdles.

2. Be Specific.   Resolutions to ‘eat better, get fitter, be happier, relax more or have better life balance’ are doomed for failure because they lack specificity. The more specific you are, the more likely you will be able to succeed.   Describe your goals and resolutions in ways that allow you to track your progress and measure your success. For instance, if you want to build a better relationship with your partner, schedule at least one date night per month, or, as I’ve done with my husband, one weekend away – sans  kids – per year. Likewise if you’re committed to a better health and exercise regime, schedule how many workouts you’ll fit into each week.

3. Don’t Just Think It, Ink it!  A Stanford University study found that when people wrote down their goal, it increased the probability of them achieving it by over 70%.   But don’t just write down the specific goal, write down how you will feel when you’ve accomplished it.  When you have finished penning your desires, jot down on sticky pads the words that inspire you most about your goal and put them around your home/office to remind you of why you are committed to doing what it takes to bring your goal into reality.

4. Design Your Environment.  Never underestimate the power of your environment to support or sabotage your success.  Design your environment so that it’s hard NOT to do what you resolved.  Create a progress chart, recruit a cheer squad among your family and friends, find someone to hold you accountable, hire a trainer, join a group, create a blog.  Likewise, if there are people or things in your life that pull you down or off track, address them directly and set whatever boundaries you know you will need up front.

5. Narrow Your Efforts.  Trying to do too many things at once can make you so unfocused that you just bounce around like Tigger on Red Bull, not quite sure which direction you are going. Set yourself up for success and start with JUST ONE MAJOR UNDERTAKING come January 1st.   Then break that goal down into small bite size steps.  Small steps, strong start!

6. Focus On The Process.  It’s easy to get caught up in an initial wave of enthusiasm, only to come crashing down when your initial efforts don’t produce immediate and amazing results. So focus on the process itself, and develop greater competence of the actual activity, habit or skill you want to acquire.  For instance, if you want to become more fit, focus on being able to jog a little bit further every time you go for a walk, rather than being able to run 5 miles within a week. PERSISTENCE ALWAYS PAYS OFF.

7.  Forgive Your Failures. Your setbacks and failures will not define your success in the year ahead or any year. HOW YOU RESPOND WILL. If you happen to mess up, lose your resolve, press the snooze button or revert to a familiar well-practiced behavior, don’t beat up on yourself. Okay, so you didn’t get to the gym like you’d planned.  How about 5 minutes of stretching?  When it comes to slipping up and tripping up, you are in good company. It happens to everyone. Just don’t let your mishaps, setbacks and failures mean more than they do.  Reflect on the lessons they hold, make adjustments accordingly, then tap your inner John Wayne and get back in the saddle. Life rewards those who work at it.

A final thought for those that are working diligently to attain a New Year’s Resolutions goal, seek help. It is important to understand that many bad habits develop due to unresolved childhood issues, negative thought processes and poor decision-making. If you or someone you know are struggling with an unfulfilled life and poor relationships please seek help from a therapist near you.

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AUTHOR: Jada Collins, MA, MS. Host of the Jada Show – Communicator, Coach & Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern Orlando Lake Mary Florida (407) 248-0030.  Tips written by Margie Warrell, Forbes Magazine Contributor