According to Marylie Gerson, psychology professor at the California Lutheran University, New Year’s resolutions kind of provide us with a much-needed reset button. “We get caught in the mire of our daily activities, going on autopilot, and we need to have something that marks a new beginning,” explained Gerson.
Resolutions give people that boost they need to pursue new goals or to start working on previously unachieved ones. What’s important, of course, is to have the proper mindset, stay determined, and to implement proven techniques so that you do not drift off your course.
Tip #1: Set Realistic Short-Term Goals
In a VCStar article, Christy Teranishi Martinez, professor of psychology at CSU Channel Islands in Camarillo, said that for goals to work, they should be short-term, attainable, and realistic.
“Wake up in the morning and say, ‘What do I want to achieve today?’ or ‘What will I do to move forward in attaining my goals?’”
Tip #2: Be Specific
Being specific is, of course, essential to your goal.
As Gerson puts it:
“Be as specific as you can. What are you aiming for? And why do you want this? Then visualize what it is you hope to accomplish, and visualize seeing yourself in the future in the present.”
Tip #3: Share Your Goal With A Trusted Person
Martinez also added that it is often helpful to share goals with a trusted individual – whether that spouse be a spouse, a sibling, or even a close friend.
“Once you tell somebody else, you’re more accountable for attaining those goals,” emphasized Martinez. “If you tell a family member or a friend that you’re going to lose 20 pounds and they can see the changes in you and see you getting healthier, they’re going to become your cheering squad.”
Tip #4: Track Your Progress And Reward Yourself
“Write in a journal to keep track of your accomplishments every day. It’s really important to see your progress and give yourself a small reward for attaining short-term goals. That reinforces behavior.”
Tip #5: Do Not Be Discouraged If You Fail
It is likewise crucial that you do not get discouraged if you experience failure along the way. Gerson shared that what matters most is that you “figure out how to climb back up.”
She added: “There are steps that people can take to maximize the odds that they might be able to flow through and be successful.”