The Winning Psychology Behind Resolutions That Stick

New Year’s resolutions can be a source of disappointment, heartache, and in some cases, resentment. Every year, millions create a list of goals they hope to achieve in the coming months. Eat a healthier diet, earn a larger income, exercise more, etc. Most of these plans rarely, if ever, come to fruition.

Statistically, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February. So, what gives? These grand declarations have the potential to be life-changing events. Yet, they’re often treated as glorified quick fixes instead of long-term objectives. The 20 percent of people who do achieve their goals have a different mindset. They have a practical outlook that allows room for error.

Researchers found that 71 percent of people who succeeded in their resolutions had a setback within the first month. Yet, they continued on their journeys despite the bumps in the road. They did not let one, two, or even three mistakes keep them from prospering. Failure is a natural part of life. You will slip, you will fall, but you’ll live to try another day.

When it comes to resolutions, most of us shoot for the stars. Want to lose 60 pounds in six months? That sounds great on paper but it’s difficult to put into practice. While there’s nothing wrong with having big dreams, you need a realistic approach. The person who aims for 60 pounds in a year versus six months has a much higher chance of accomplishing it.

It’s also important to have a worker’s mentality. Talk is cheap, so your words should be supported by action. Once you’ve declared your goals, you must implement a winning strategy. Plot actionable steps that will move you closer to your desired outcome.

Self-discipline is a powerful tool. But there’s nothing like having an external support system. Telling a friend, family member, or co-worker about your resolution can add some much-needed accountability. During tough times, they’re a valuable resource when willpower and affirmations just aren’t enough.

Life is unpredictable. Give yourself the chance to course correct and keep going.

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Photo credit: Deagreez

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