Every year, people all over the country will make New Year's resolutions. They will resolve to eat better, lose weight, quit smoking, work out more, get organized, spend more time with family and friends, or a myriad of other good intentions.
However, a lot of these resolutions will remain just that -- good intentions. A few days into January, most resolutions will already be broken. According to a University of Scranton poll, only 8 percent of Americans will keep their New Year's resolutions.
So how does one make a New Year's resolution last past the first month (or week) of the year? How does one turn the New Year's resolution from just a good intention, into a successful change for the better?
Read on to learn three ways to make and keep New Year's resolutions.
1. Talk about it.
Making a New Year's resolution and not telling anyone about it may be setting oneself up for failure. By letting supportive friends and family know about the impending change, it holds you accountable and can create more followthrough than by going it alone. They also might help you be more successful just by supporting the goal.
Maybe they don't bring chocolate cake to the dinner party if they know a weight loss resolution has been made. Going out for a cigarette is harder when everyone knows a resolution to quit smoking has been made. Sharing with friends and family (and perhaps Facebook too) can be the difference in attempting and achieving a goal.
2. Choose a smart resolution.
Whatever one resolves to start or stop doing come New Year's Day, it should be specific and measurable. Resolving to "eat better" is not a great resolution. Resolving to "eat three servings of vegetables a day" is specific and measurable, and a much easier resolution to keep.
Saying "have better relationships" is not specific. Saying "I will make sure to eat lunch with Sue at least once a week," is specific and measurable and a resolution that is much more likely to be kept.
3. Build in a reward system.
It is hard to create lasting change so making sure there are rewards along the way is key.