There are only 4 days left in 2014!!
This is a great time for all of us to set some New Year Resolutions for the New Year. Each year, many of us go with the usual “lose more weight”, “exercise more”, which frankly, has been how I’ve done my resolutions in the past. This year though, I’m determined to make better resolutions…with the help of Psychology research, of course.
So what does Psychology tell us about writing New Year Resolutions?
1. Share your resolutions with others
Research shows that you’re more likely to stick with your plans if you tell other people about it. As social human beings, we want the recognition of others. More importantly, we don’t want to fail in the eyes of others. Your family and friends can hold you accountable and you’re more likely to reach your goals.
2. Make them concrete and measurable
When we make vague goals e.g. “exercise more”, we allow ambiguity in interpretation. Then as the year goes on, we start justifying to ourselves – walking one block to the grocery store counts as exercise right? (ha, good try, but no)
Also, vague resolutions make it difficult to measure success. You want to set measurable steps, so that when you achieve them, you can go celebrate!!
3. Take small, achievable steps (…they will eventually have big impact!)
When people set unrealistic goals, they usually give up easily. You might fall into what some Psychologists have termed “false hope syndrome”. If the resolution is so unrealistic that you don’t even believe in it yourself, there’s a high chance that you might not achieve it. Think of resolutions as small yet important steps to take.
4. Write it down on paper
Take a piece of paper and write your resolutions down. It might be easier to keep the resolutions in your head and think that you’ll remember them, but 365 days is a looongg time and we’re forgetful creatures. So, handwrite down your resolutions on paper so that you can re-visit them every now and then throughout the year. It’s also a good way to see if you’re making progress and keep yourself on track (and celebrate, again).
If you need someone to listen to your New Year resolutions, feel free to send me a message! I’d be happy to give you some social pressure 😉