It’s that time of the year again. Right now millions of people will be making their New Years Resolutions in the hope of creating a new and improved version of themselves. I am all for it. However, my work shows that only about 1 in 10 people will make their dreams a reality. Why? Because we often don’t know how to change our habits.
In 59 Seconds I describe a large-scale study that I carried out into the techniques used by people who managed to make change stick. Here are my 10 top tips, and a little video….
1) Make only one resolution, your chances of success are greater when you channel energy into changing just one aspect of your behaviour.
2) Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to think about your resolution and instead take some time out a few days before and reflect upon what you really want to achieve.
3) Avoid previous resolutions; deciding to re-visit a past resolution sets you up for frustration and disappointment.
4) Don’t run with the crowd and go with the usual resolutions. Instead think about what you really want out of life.
5) Break your goal into a series of steps, focusing on creating sub-goals that are concrete, measurable, and time-based.
6) Tell your friends and family about your goals, thus increasing the fear of failure and eliciting support.
7) Regularly remind yourself of the benefits associated with achieving your goals by creating a checklist of how life would be better once you obtain your aim.
8) Give yourself a small reward whenever you achieve a sub-goal, thus maintaining motivation and a sense of progress.
9) Make your plans and progress concrete by keeping a handwritten journal, completing a computer spreadsheet or covering a notice board with graphs or pictures.
10) Expect to revert to your old habits from time to time. Treat any failure as a temporary set-back rather than a reason to give up altogether.
Oh, and if you want to utilise the power of visualisation….