Why do people even bother?! I never purposely set myself up for failure– which is why, for the past few years, my resolutions have included:
Eat more ice cream.
Drink more champagne.
Get more pedicures.
Not to toot my own horn, but I’m in that successful 12%. I’m 3 for 3 and looking forward to a successful 2014 (filled with more massages)!
But what if you have legit resolutions? What if you want to drop 20 pounds, stop smoking, or put a certain amount of money into your kids’ college savings account? Should you give up before you start?
You can succeed at your New Year’s resolutions if you do these things:
Don’t resolve to get more massages and more pedicures and eat more ice cream and stop biting your toenails (ew!). Pick one. Stanford Professor Baba Shiv has done extensive research on resolutions and found that making more than one is too much for the brain to handle!
And don’t be vague. Instead of saying “get more massages,” I’d say “get six massages in 2014.” Don’t resolve to “get in shape,” instead say “lose 20 pounds.”
Take Baby Steps
Instead of making a yearly goal, break it up into chunks. When you make long-term goal, it’s too easy to put off ‘til later. Plus, having early success will help you stay motivated. For example, if you’re trying to lose 20 pounds, set a goal of losing 5 pounds by the end of March.
Blab to Your Friends
Nothing kicks you in the behind like a good public shaming. Ok, I’m being dramatic. Announce your New Year’s resolution to your friends and family (on Facebook and in person); even if they don’t say a word, knowing that they’re aware of what you’re trying to accomplish will make you feel worse for giving up.
Give Yourself a Break
Know that every day isn’t going to be award-winning– you’ll have good days and bad days. Just because you ate a dozen donuts on Saturday doesn’t mean it’s over. Just eat a dozen leaves of kale to make up for it (not really). The point is this is a marathon, not a sprint.
Don’t Forget to Celebrate!
When you meet those smaller goals, stop and give yourself a high five or do a little happy dance. Treat yourself to something nice—something that doesn’t steer you away from your goal. For all you “get-in-shapers,” buy yourself some new running shorts or a new iTunes playlist. If “stop swearing” was your resolution, buy yourself a censored version of your favorite movie. You get the point.
Best of luck with your resolutions. I’m off to get my first of many massages… and maybe some champagne.
Happy New Year!