Are we a make 'em and break 'em kind of society? According to research, the answer is yes. On average, 40% of Americans will make New Year's resolutions while only 8% will actually follow through and achieve their goals. In fact, a good portion of resolutioners won't even make it through January. So why are we wired to be so critical of ourselves, and always looking for ways to improve, yet we can't quite deliver on the promises and goals we set?
Here are three key tips to give you a better shot at being in the small group that actually succeeds in their mission:
1. Keep it Simple
Instead of saying: "I'm going to workout every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and run at least 5 miles on the treadmill each time."
Try this: "I'm going to workout at least 5 hours per week."
The latter is a much more flexible option that still accomplishes the overall mission of getting in a set number of exercise hours each week.
2. Make it Tangible
Instead of something like this: "I want to feel more romance in my relationship with my spouse/significant other."
Try this: "I want to have a planned date night at least twice a month."
Again, the latter of the two will help head you in the right direction of your ultimate goal and it's something specific so you can hold yourself accountable.
3. Keep Believing You Can Do it
Rome wasn't built in a day. If you feel like you're getting off track or discouraged, remind yourself of the payoff and that you are fully capable of accomplishing your goals. Remember the Little Engine That Could…it applies here.
Wanna know what the rest of the world is planning to do come January 1? Here's a list of some of the top resolutions predicted for 2014:
10. Fall in Love
9. Overcome Addiction
8. Learn Something New
7. Do Something Crazy
6. Help Save the Planet
5. Eat Healthier Food
4. Spend More Time with Family and Friends
3. Do More Exercise
2. Smile More and Be Kinder to People
1. Live Within Your Means