A New Focus
In today’s data-oriented world, you can find numbers on just about anything including New Year’s resolutions. According to a study conducted by the University of Scranton and published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology:
- The top five New Year’s Resolutions for 2015 were to lose weight, get organized, spend less/save more, enjoy life to the fullest and stay fit.
- Forty percent of Americans usually make at least one New Year’s Resolution versus 38 percent who “absolutely never” make a resolution.
- There’s an age gap — 39 percent of people in their twenties achieve their resolution each year versus just 14 percent of people over 50.
Every year, scores of people begin and abandon resolutions to become healthier. For 2017, instead of stating a resolution, perhaps you should focus on specific goals.
Is it your goal to lose weight? How much do you want to lose? If it’s a significant amount, then you need to be realistic about it. Break it down into manageable 30-day goals, e.g. losing 2-4 pounds a month. And come up with an achievable plan for reaching your 30-day goal. Use the simple framework of “Move More. Eat Better.” But what does moving significantly more mean to you? What does eating significantly better mean? Ask for help from a certified personal trainer or wellness coach. Find a group of like-minded friends who are also looking to lose weight for support. It could be all the difference between success and failure.
Is it your goal to become more organized? A better approach would be to set a goal to enter all family events in an online calendar that sends you alerts the day before. Looking to stay on top of your business affairs? Research and purchase a program to help you better manage them.
Is it your goal to spend less and save more? Using Mint.com or another program to track your monthly expenses, pick two expenses you have the most control over and spend 5 percent less each month. If you have a month where you blow your budget, you have to balance it with another month where you come in under budget.
If these tips sound more attainable, good! Here’s one last tip: write your goal down on paper. Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at California’s Dominican University, did a study on goal-setting and found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.
Having your goals written down so that you can see them helps you overcome internal resistance, keep you motivated to take action, force you to clarify what you are trying to achieve, and give you milestones to celebrate your progress.