The whole concept of setting New Year resolutions is flawed. Why? Because New Year resolutions don’t work. Research shows that of all of us who set New Year resolutions just eight per cent of us actually see our plans come to fruition1.
The fact that most New Year resolutions are ineffective is no excuse to lose ambition altogether. It simply means you need a new approach to goal setting. Here’s all it takes:
Scrap the term resolution
Abandon the concept of resolutions and start setting goals. The term ‘resolution’ conjures up negativity, it encourages you to focus on problems and when you do this, life feels dark, difficult and daunting. Setting goals is a much more positive approach. Goals encourage improvement, progression and optimism – and that’s what sets you up for success.
It’s never too early to start chasing positive change. There is no magical potion that makes setting goals at the beginning of January more effective. The only difference between today and January 1st is time. So you are better off getting a head start. Start working towards your goals now and you’ll have your healthy new behaviors well embedded by the time the New Year rolls around. Heck, you might even be ready to raise the bar and take your goals up a notch!
Ease yourself into it
Small wins are the secret to securing big-picture goals. This might mean swapping a mid arvo sweet treat for a handful of nuts, saving just a dollar a day or making your mornings more productive by setting your alarm 20 minutes earlier. When it comes to exercise research shows that a gradual approach will set you up for success much more than leaping in the deep end2. It’s best to pace yourself and build gradually. By exercising for short times more days a week you can get in the habit of exercising before stressing about how hard you’re working.
Whatever you do, remember, your life doesn’t need a complete overhaul – you just need to add ambition to make sure you’re getting the most from it. So, scratch New Year resolutions, take action now and make 2016 your best year yet.
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