avatar

Make Your 2011 New Year's Resolution Stick

Written by Easter Becker-Smith. Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged:

Published on January 04, 2011 with No Comments

By Easter Becker-Smith

The year 2010 has just come to a close. Throughout the past year we often said, ìI cannot believe it is already May,î or ìAugust,î or whatever month just passed. Now we are saying, ìThe year flew by, it is already 2011!î
Many of us sigh with relief, and reflect, ìI am glad this year is over.î It is a statement that remembers the tough times of the past year and expresses hope for better days in the coming year.
With that hope of a better 2011, come wishes and dreams of what we would like to happen this year.  We often want better health, more money or more time to do what we want. Some of us wistfully dream of better days ahead and some of us are more forthright about our desires and call them New Yearís resolutions.
We ask each other, ìWhatís your New Yearís resolution?î or ìDid you make any New Yearís resolutions?î When we ask either question of anyone, the response is usually one of two answers. We either hear what the resolutions are, such as, ìI want to lose weight this year,î or we hear, ìNo, I donít make those anymore because they never work.î
Surveys show that over half of us make New Yearís resolutions, but a whopping 45 percent fail before the end of January. Only 8 percent of the population keeps their resolutions the entire year. This small percentage of achievement is a major reason so many people do not make resolutions and why we hear that New Yearís resolutions do not work.
What is it about those New Yearís resolutions that do not work for the majority of people? One problem is that we approach a resolution as a wish. It is like making a wish and blowing out the candles on your birthday cake. It is a fleeting desire.
Do you remember the last wish you made when you blew out the candles? Maybe it was years ago that you did that, but if you made a New Yearís resolution last year, you probably do not remember that either.
The other problem with our New Yearís resolutions is that we make vague declarations, such as, ìI want to lose weight, ì or ìI am going to exercise this year,î or ìI am going to save more money.î It is impossible to achieve a goal when you really do not know what that goal is.
The resolutions above are not specific. Would losing a pound meet the resolution goal? Would saving a dollar satisfy the resolution?
Another stumbling block to sticking to your New Yearís resolution is choosing too big of a chunk for a goal. If you set a goal of, ìI am going to exercise every day,î but this past year you exercised only a couple of times in the summer, you are doomed for failure. Few people are able to make such drastic overnight changes in their behavior and resolutions are all about changing our behavior.
Those timeless sayings like, ìbiting off more than we can chew,î or ìhis eyes are bigger than his stomachî exemplify the problem of taking on too much at once. It is interesting that both sayings involve food and eating.
You will stand a much better chance of achieving your resolution if you write it down. Many people do this, but then they tuck it away and it is soon forgotten. You will not likely stay motivated to achieve a goal that you forgot about.
There is a goal setting standard that many businesses use that uses the acronym SMART. SMART goals mean setting goals that are Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic or Reasonable and Timely.
Make a habit of writing your goal on paper, or on a computer and save it. Make your goal or resolution specific, not vague. Specific is, ìI will lose 10 pounds.î A goal like this is also measurable; as long as you know your current weight you will obviously know when you have lost 10 pounds.
Next your resolution must be action-oriented. An example is, ìI will lose 10 pounds by substituting my afternoon soda pop and candy bar for a bottle of water and a piece of fruit and walking a mile four times a week.î
The next step is to add a timeframe to your goal. It needs to be realistic, as does your entire goal. To say that you will lose 50 pounds in two months by eating better is not likely to happen. However, saying and writing your goal, ìI will lose 10 pounds within three months by substituting my afternoon soda pop and candy bar for a bottle of water and a piece of fruit and walking a mile four times a week,î is a very well thought out resolution, that is very achievable. You can see the difference between this and saying, ìI want to lose weight.î
Get a good positive start to 2011 by making SMART resolutions. Keep your written goals in sight, so that you can keep on track. Give yourself a pat on the back as you see progress toward your goal. When 2011 ends you will be proud that you not only remembered your resolution, but that you achieved it too.

Easter Becker Smith provides coaching for individuals, groups and corporate teams.  She coaches individuals to help them discover their own path to balance and fulfillment in their lives.  She brings her years of experience in business as a highly regarded leader to help companies improve their productivity and efficiency by learning how to better communicate with each other.  Visit her website at www.coacheaster.com.

Be Sociable, Share!

Share This Article

About Easter Becker-Smith

avatar

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Easter Becker-Smith provides coaching for individuals, groups and corporate teams.  She coaches individuals to help them discover their own path to balance and fulfillment in their lives.  She brings her years of experience in business as a highly regarded leader to help companies improve their productivity and efficiency by learning how to better communicate with each other.  Visit her website at www.coacheaster.com.

Browse Archived Articles by

No Comments

Comments for Make Your 2011 New Year's Resolution Stick are now closed.