Though most people make resolutions every January 1st, more than 50% of us give up before the year is half over, and only about 8% see their resolutions through to the end of the year. Given those odds, it’s not surprising that 38% resolve never to make a resolution!
We start the year full of hope and determination, but something invariably derails our best intentions. What goes wrong? We certainly want to achieve our goals, in fact most of us make the same resolutions year after year.
Permanent change is an evolution, not a revolution! Big, sweeping overhauls can be great in the short term, but not often realistic when it comes to creating lasting change. One of the best ways to reach resolution goals is by making small, incremental changes to daily habits. For example, my resolution this year is to “be happier.” I consider myself a happy person in general, but I had been noticing that I was letting the little things get me down more than I wanted. As vague as that goal may sound, I had a sense of how I wanted the outcome to feel.
In order to achieve my goal, I brainstormed on what stops me from feeling happy, what actually makes me happy, and any other thoughts I’ve had about happiness – and wrote it all down. From that information I created three small, easy new habits I could practice that would bring me more happiness daily.
So, now I keep a “happiness” jar where I add notes about what’s made me happy – small things as well as big, I schedule time with friends at least once a week, and I make a point to look at trees when I feel stressed out (trees always seem to calm me down!). Your list would be different than mine, of course, but I know these simple, but meaningful, small steps will become permanent new habits by December 31st.
Whether your resolutions feel insurmountable, whether they’ve been with you for years, whether you’re ready to move in a dynamic new direction or just make a few positive tweaks, this method works to achieve goals of every kind.
For a hands-on experience of the small steps method, register for “The Power Of Self-Awareness” four-week series starting on May 28th. I hope to see you there!