It is that time of year again… Gym memberships are heightened, diets are started, cigarettes are thrown out, and several other fresh new goals have begun. But as fast as individuals make a New Year’s resolution, is as is fast as most start to fall off track. In fact, most start declining on their resolution within the same month it was started, even within one week of its commencement. But how can you maintain consistency and stick to your goals unlike others? The answer lies deep within a well-crafted New Year’s resolution!

Keys to Making a Successful Resolution

Despite the mass casualty of throwing out resolutions come New Year, actually adhering to and achieving them is minimal. Interestingly, a mere eight percent of the general population actually follow through with their New Year’s resolutions each year. The following traits may contribute to individuals’ greatest success and include…

…committing on their own terms.

Stressed with large importance, remember this is your goal. Successfully adhering to a New Year’s resolution generally requires committing to it on your own terms, not piggybacking on others. An initial, personalized commitment to make a change is one of the greatest necessities for an effective resolution, as you are more likely to succeed if there is a deep desire and reasoning for its embarking.

…tracking self-progress and improvement.

Individuals who track their progress throughout the year may endure the most success, and doing so can be as simple as journaling in a diary or snapping pictures. Tracing ones own personal growth, despite the resolution committed to, allows for individuals to stay dedicated throughout the process.

…implementing and practicing coping strategies.

In a perfect world, plans would never fail and goals would never fall short. But the world is essentially not perfect, plans may fail and goals may fall short. So instead of dwelling on mishaps, implement coping strategies, pick up the pieces, and move on that much stronger! Keeping a positive attitude can further assist in New Year’s success.

…confining and consulting in others.

A strong support system shows to aid in great achievements. Discussing frustrations, setbacks, and accomplishments with close friends and family may lessen feelings of anxiety and offer a mental boost. Seeking out a buddy with similar goals and interests can provide eloquent, constructive tips and spoken encouragement during the meaningful change.

How to Start a Resolution

Now your resolution has been identified, higher commitment and success has shown to follow when it also becomes refined. Craft a polished New Year’s resolution utilizing the acronym SMART:

Specific: The identified goal should be clear and to the point, ultimately offering structure and stability. A specific goal answers the questions of who, what, when, where, and why?

Measurable: Measurable goals offer individuals the ability to track progress, a key in making a successful resolution. It may further identify the questions “how much?” and “how many?”

Achievable: Though goals should be challenging, they still should remain attainable. Answering “How can I accomplish this goal?” can help identify resources and tools needed for its attainment while surfacing potential barriers that likely need overcome.

Realistic: Goals should be realistic and within reason. While identifying and tackling a resolution, staying honest with yourself and considering all abilities and commitments can inhibit the risk of prospective failure.

Timely: Goals need target dates and deadlines to keep you progressively moving towards it. Encouraging the need to prioritize, timely goals can assist in accomplishing day-to-day tasks that align with your identified resolution.

A general New Year’s resolution may be, “I want to lose weight.” A more specific, SMART goal may indicate, “I will lose two pounds each month by incorporating a well-balanced diet and exercise while tracking progress through pictures, weekly weights, and a personal journal.”