7 Secrets Of People Who Keep Their New Year’s Resolutions
by Kevin Kruse
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To find out10, I interviewed11 one of the leading experts12 in behavior change13, psychologist Paul Marciano. Dr. Marciano is the author of Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work and he specializes in14 the area of behavior modification and engagement15. He offered seven keys to achieving your goals.[osiągnięcie celów]
- Make your goals specific.People proclaim16, “I’m finally going to get in shape17.” But what does that actually mean? Do you intend to18 reach19 a certain weight20? Or body-fat percentage21? Do you want to run three miles without rest22? Maybe be able to do 10 pull-ups23? Dr. Marciano is a fan of the classic goal system that makes goals specific24, measurable25, achievable 26, relevant27 and time-bound28 (SMART).
- Measure progress.29“If you can measure30 it, you can change it” is a fundamental principal of31 psychology. These feedback loops32 will be a source of motivation33 as you reflect on34 where you started and where you are. They will also help you to know when you are hitting a plateau35 or slipping backward36, so you can adjust37 your efforts.38
- Be patient.Progress is seldom linear39. Some people will see rapid gains40 only to hit resistance41 later in their efforts. For others, initial progress42 may be painfully slow43 but then they suddenly44 achieve rapid breakthroughs45. Making lasting46 changes takes time47.
- Share your goals48 with friends and family. Social support49 is critical50. Yes, it takes some personal courage51 and vulnerability52 to share something that you might actually fail at53, but to dramatically increase your odds of success54 you’ll want support55 from those around you. One of the most effective things you can do is to get an “accountability56 partner”, someone who checks in with you57 daily or weekly. It’s easy to break a promise58 to yourself, but far harder to admit59 it to a friend.
- Schedule60 it.Have you ever said you can’t “find the time” to do something. Nobody finds time, we choose time. We all choose to spend our time the way we do—whether that’s eating junk food61 or going to a spin class.62 Make your new goals63 a priority64 and actually schedule them into your calendar. If you have a fitness goal schedule recurring65 time blocks for your daily workouts66. Want to declutter67? Schedule time to clean out your closet68 or garage on your calendar. Treat these New Year Resolution’s appointments69 just like they were scheduled doctor appointments70. You rarely reschedule71 your doctor, you should treat this time the same way. That which is scheduled gets done72.
- Something is better than nothing. Are you guilty of73 “all or nothing”74 thinking? Do you ever think, “Well, I might as well75 get dessert since I already ate those French fries?” And then, “I blew76 my diet last night so I’ll just restart77 it next week.” Dr. Marciano says the difference between doing something rather than nothing is huge. If you don’t have a full hour to workout at the gym78, just decide to make it the best 20-minutes you can. If you stumble out of bed79 and don’t want to do 20-minutes on the treadmill80, lace up your sneakers81 and do five minutes (and you just might find you do another 15 minutes once the first five are out of the way). Dr. Marciano says, “Any effort82 towards your goal is better than no effort.”
- Get up, when you slip up83. Legendary coach Vince Lombardi said, “It isn’t whether84 you get knocked down85, it’s whether you get back up86.” Resiliency87 is paramount88. Don’t turn temporary failures89 into total meltdowns90 or excuses91 for giving up92. Instead93, just acknowledge the mistake94 and recommit to the path95 towards the goal.
Dr. Marciano says achieving your goals isn’t about willpower96. It’s about developing the right skills97, executing strategies98, and having the patience that inevitably99 lead to100 success. Will 2017 be the year you join the elite 8%?