The first step in making successful New Years Resolutions, ones that you will stick to and yes succeed at, is to follow an effective planning strategy. Dr. Russ Buss has identified 8 key strategies for thinking about how to make your list of self-promises before you make a single promise. If you use these guidelines, you might find you actually stay with your goals and plans to a successful conclusion. These guidelines provide categories and issues to consider as you make your personal list.
Eight Tips for Making New Years Resolutions that Actually Stick
2. Plan with passion, but count your pennies: Anytime you write down a resolution rate it on a 1-10 passion scale (1-no passion; 10-overflowing passion). If your passion number is not at least a 7, revise or trash it. Take a look at the cost of what it will take to implement the resolution (e.g., a $65.00 a month gym membership). Give the resolution an expense rating on the “pennies” rating scale. Less expensive resolutions (a 4 penny or less rating) will be easier to stick to than a more costly one (a 6 penny rating or above).
3. Time: Many New Years resolutions are quickly discarded because time was not taken into account in the planning process. Either too much time is required or the time at which the activity must be done is inconvenient. For each resolution make a detailed time plan for the implementation and maintenance of the new activity. Are you ready for the time commitment? Is it realistic given other priorities? If not scale back your plans to the doable.
4. Interest: A resolution minimally includes a goal and an activity to accomplish the goal. No matter how desirable the goal, if the activity doesn’t interest you, you won’t stick with it for long. For example, if I am going to engage in the activity of running or jogging I know I have to be chasing a ball or listening to music with a rhythmic beat to make it interesting.
5. Modifiable: Expect and be prepared to modify your goals quickly as obstacles and setbacks occur, interest fades as expectations are set too high.
6. Inspire: Resolutions that focus on helping, collaborating with, or inspiring others are easier to stay with as you are less likely to let others down than yourself. So get a New Years Resolution buddy to help you stir up the “stickiness”
7. Spirit: Make at least one resolution about finding and living with spirituality in your life whether it is about praying, communicating with a higher being, meditating, or spending time in the outdoor cathedral called nature. Seeking to explore and expand your spiritual side will imbue you with the clear mind and fresh perspective you will need to pack away the pessimism and ignite the positive motivational flame within.
8. Minimize: Every resolution comes with a built in set of obstacles that can give you pause and pessimism. The “sticky optimism” advice key is to minimize the obstacle. The easiest way to minimize an obstacle is to break it down into smaller parts and steps (e.g., plan to take 5 days instead of 2 and ½ to climb the mountain). The mountain is not going to go anywhere and you will be much more likely to stick to your path and succeed.
For more "Moment-to-Moment Optimism" go to: http://www.drrussbuss.com
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