New Yearâ€™s Resolutions is a special tradition that has existed for years, dating back to the Romans and Babylonians who took this chance to renew themselves in preparation for a new cycle of life. In modern times, we still continue this ancient tradition by setting personally valuable goals at the start of each year. However, according to national polls and anecdotal opinions, at least half of peopleâ€™s Resolutions fall apart fairly rapidly. So how do we ensure that we follow through with our New Yearâ€™s resolutions?
For starters, research shows that people who successfully attain their resolutions are those who believe they have the ability to follow through with their plans and achieve their goals. They genuinely desire and are prepared for the change to happen. Additionally, the beginning stages of the resolution play a vital role in its success. Research shows that strong willpower, self-rewarding, avoiding facilitators of failure, constant reminder of the goal, and sparing use of self-blame are especially crucial ingredients in starting your resolutions. Below are a few tips to help you stick to those resolutions and move from contemplation to action:
- Go after something you want, big or small. Resolutions are a chance to follow your heart and change yourself in ways you desire. This will give you the energy to pursue.
- Make it something you are ready to change. If youâ€™re ready, then youâ€™re more likely to have the motivation to maintain your goal.
- Like rewards for like efforts. Rather than focusing on everything you have not yet done, focus on the things that you have done and reward yourself for each small milestone you achieve.
- Know your enemies. Anticipate things that can impede your progress and try your best to avoid them. Try making them part of your reward if applicable.
- Make it part of your life. Put out a visual reminder, like a poster, of your goals and the steps needed to achieve them.
- Cut yourself some slack. If you deviated from your plan, reflect, donâ€™t blame. Remember that change is hard and takes time.
Finally, I can think of no better route to enhance your willpower than to renew your efforts, especially when desirable results do not fall through. Armed with this, I hope we will all reach new distances on the road to achieving this yearâ€™s Resolutions!
By:Â Ruihong Yuan
Ruihong is a graduateÂ from University of Toronto with a major in Psychology and Physics. He is currentlyÂ looking to gain either clinical or research experiences in psychology. His goal is to become a clinical psychologist with his own practice and research in order to help people improve their lives and explore the mysterious human mind.