New year’s resolution

New year celebration is a great turning point for habit changing. Unfortunately, new years resolutions get ignored more often than not. This article describes several reasons why new years resolution fail and how to make them work.

  • Guilt is a bad motivator. Quite often resolutions deal with what you think you should do, not with what you actually WANT to do. It is not point to wish a change happen, unless you are willing to work hard to achieve the change. Not sure about you, most of my changes come from strong experience originated by people around me. If an expert convinces me that the way I am doing things is stupid and commits to teaching me how to do it better, this is quite a strong catalyst. So instead of trying to change something myself, I might decide to find a mentor to help me change my habits.
  • Resolutions are like very vague goals induced by holiday spirit. Make SMART goals instead: specific, measurable, achievable, result-focus and time bound. You do have some flexibility to transcend each element, but if you ignore all of them you will probably fail.
  • The commitment is short lived and soon runs out of steam. You need ongoing commitment and rapport to achieve your goals. This requires discipline, methodology and maybe mentorship. None of this elements are festive. What you need is something more fundamental, more central and more important to you.
  • The timing’s all wrong. It is probably easier to introduce new habits during the regular grinding routine than during holidays. Habits introduced during holidays tend to get no free time and resources when the holidays end and you return to daily choices.

So, should you forget your new year’s resolution? Not necessarily. Write it down and review it periodically. Add other resolutions if you want. Review your resolutions periodically. Once you feel confidence and passion to make some resolution work, take it from the resolution list into your life, planning meticulously each step of the way.

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