Keeping your resolutions

With Christmas come and gone, it is time to start thinking about the New Year.

With Christmas come and gone, it is time to start thinking about the New Year.

Of course, in thinking of the New Year, it is also time to think about making a New Year’s resolution.

Lots of people make New Year’s resolutions, but few keep them longer than the first few weeks.

According to a Journal of Clinical Psychology report, a team of researchers led by John Norcross found that 50% of the population make a New Year’s resolution.

Among the most common of these resolutions of course are commitments to lose weight, to get in shape, to stop smoking and to manage money better.

Timothy Pychyl, a professor of psychology at Carleton University, has stated that resolutions are a form of “cultural procrastination” that we partake in to motivate ourselves. However, they often fail to do so because we aren’t fully ready to commit to changing our habits.

To that effect, we offer these tips to help you keep your resolution this New Year.

Millions each year make resolutions to lose weight or to get in shape. Trouble is, these goals are quite vague and people making them don’t plan the specifics of how to reach those goals.

To counter this, choose specific goals for New Year’s resolutions. Instead of resolving to get in shape or lose weight, resolve to go to the gym commit instead to running a marathon or going to the gym three times a week for the year.

Also, take the time to plan your New Year’s resolution and think about the specifics of how you will reach your goal. Don’t wait until Dec. 31 to decide on a goal, choose now and start planning how you are going to reach it.

New Year’s is a great time to create a ‘new you’, but, don’t try doing it all at once.

Instead of adopting a list of self-improvement objectives for your New Year’s resolution, pick just one. This allows you to keep focused on one goal and devote all your energy towards then trying to split yourself between multiple targets.

It is also best to set a small goal as your New Year’s resolution. Reach that one within the year and then set another larger goal. Don’t get too far ahead of yourself and start setting multiple goals right from the start.

Keep in mind when making and attempting to fulfill your New Year’s resolution that change is a process and you are going to stumble. Recognize that you will experience several small failures before you reach your goal so and remember the important thing is to continue working through the obstacles.