Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate

Posted by Thomas Murphy on 1/15/2012

As the year comes to a close, it is time to look ahead to a New Year and new beginnings. For many, the start of a New Year means making resolutions. This often means reflecting on the changes we want to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. It seems the follow through is often the most difficult part of making resolutions. According to a Marist poll, about half of all American adults say they are at least somewhat likely to make a New Year's resolution. Their top vows: to lose weight (19%), quit smoking (12%) and exercise more (10%). Here are some tips to help keep you on track in the New Year and beyond.

1. Be Realistic Don't take on too much. Successful moderators decide in advance how much is too much — and stick to their limit, no matter what. If you have never climbed a mountain and set your goal to climb Mt. Everest it will most likely fail before you even start. Think of small changes that will make a big difference. 2. Focus on Success When you focus on success and achieving goals you are more likely to succeed. Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, led a study where 700 people were asked about their strategies for achieving New Year resolutions. Their goals ranged from losing weight or giving up smoking to gaining a qualification or starting a better relationship. Of the 78% who failed, many had focused on the downside of not achieving the goals; they had suppressed their cravings, fantasized about being successful, and adopted a role model or relied on willpower alone. 3. Go for Smaller Goals A big goal is hard to achieve. For example, it is much easier to lose two pounds a week for 10 weeks than to lose 20 pounds. Break your goals into smaller steps and reward for each smaller achievement. Wiseman's study also found that men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, (a system where small measurable goals are being set), while women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends. 4. Keep It Simple Make a simple New Year resolution. If you create complicated limits or expectations you have created a recipe for disaster. Make only one resolution at a time; don't bite off more than you can chew. If you have small failures in your resolution; treat occasional lapses as temporary setbacks.