There’s a certain feeling of remorse that occurs at the end of every festive season when you reflect back on the number of mince pies and cocktails that were consumed, the lack of exercise that was done and the hours of sleep that you went without.
Thankfully with the end of one year, comes the refreshing start of another and that means one thing: New Year’s resolutions.
But what seems like a solid decision on January 1st often becomes a vague after thought within a few weeks. In fact, while 45 per cent of people make resolutions, studies show that only 8 per cent actually stick to them.
Here are 5 tips that may help you stick to your resolution in 2015:
Be specific and make a plan
To help keep you on track when setting a resolution, try to be specific about your goal and write an action plan. For example, instead of resolving to eat healthier or save for retirement, promise to eat 3 pieces of fruit and veg every day or put away a certain amount of money away each week. If you know exactly what you want you are more likely to make progress and stay motivated.
To help you form new habits, think about what actions you need to take to achieve your resolution and plan ahead. For example, if you are someone who buys your lunch each day, make sure you know which lunch places serve healthy food and which items on the menu you are going to order. If you show up when you are hungry and make the decision on the spot you are much more likely to make unhealthy food choices.
Share your goal
Did you know that formally declaring your intentions when you set a goal boosts your likelihood of achieving that goal by 33 per cent? Sharing your objectives with others, such as on social media, holds you accountable. It also motivates you to save face – you don’t want to not follow through and have your friends question you about it later.
Hedge your bets
Further studies have found that you are 72 per cent more likely to accomplish a goal if money is involved. Promise or Pay, a new Australian website, encourages people to make a ‘promise’ and pledge money to a chosen charity which is then paid if they fail to fulfil their promise.
Participants are then encouraged to get at least one person to support them by pledging money to their charity should they succeed in their promise. This not only keeps the participant accountable but it further encourages them to follow through. This ensures a win- win outcome for the charity!
Team up with a friend
Setting goals with another person could be a key to success because you are being held accountable for your actions and you don’t want to let your friend down. Teaming up with a buddy also means that you are more likely to set a realistic goal that the two of you can achieve together.
International studies by Thaler and Sustein have shown that if your goal is health related creating a social network positioned around health can produce better results than individually focused programs and interventions.
By Jay Boolkin
What are you hoping to achieve in 2015? What are your New Year’s resolutions? Would you put a bet on doing them? Tell us below.