How to Make (and Keep) a New Year's Resolution - Deepstash
How to Make (and Keep) a New Year's Resolution

How to Make (and Keep) a New Year's Resolution

Curated from: nytimes.com

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SMART Resolutions

SMART Resolutions

Pick a goal that is meaningful and doable, making sure it's coming from inside you, not imposed by others.

Make specific, realistic plans for your New Year Goal using the time-tested SMART Technique:

  • Specific: Have a clear, specified goal
  • Measurable: You should be able to quantify and validate the progress.
  • Achievable: Don't have a big stretch goal that will overwhelm you.
  • Relevant: Choose wisely what matters to you.
  • Time-bound: Your goal should have a time limit or weekly checks and reviews.

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Creating a Plan

Chances are you won't just wake up one day and suddenly change your life. To go where you want to go, you have to chart out a plan.

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Quitting Bad Habits

If you want to quit a bad habit, start by identifying its 3 main parts: the cue, the routine, and the reward. After you check the cue and your routine that follows it, you can swap the routine with something good (or less bad) to do.

For example: If you feel the cue of smoking, replace the smoking with some other activity like having a cup of coffee.

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Your Inner Critic

While you're trying to follow your resolution, there will be inevitable obstacles and slip-ups that will discourage you. Do not punish yourself, just stop your inner critic from whispering negative things in your mind and carry on with your good work.

You can also try to reward yourself when you do what you intend to, to kick in positive emotions.

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Being Discouraged

When you try to push yourself in the right direction by trying to build a good habit, there are forces inside you that will resist and have to be fought.

There will be negative thoughts related to progress that can be overcome by thinking positive, motivating thoughts. If positivity does not work, try being realistic and objective.

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Wish. Outcome. Obstacle. Plan.

The W.O.O.P. Technique can work to make you focus on what is to be done:

  • Wish: What is your goal?
  • Outcome: What will result from attaining that goal?
  • Obstacle: Knowing yourself, think about the obstacles or hurdles that could stop you from achieving your goal.
  • Plan: How do you plan to take care of the whole process?

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Adding Flexibility

Set slightly bendable and flexible plans so that you can meet them on a daily basis.

For example: If you set a rigid goal to exercise in the gym for 1 hour daily, it can fail, but if your goal is to go to the gym daily and get some exercise, even 15 minutes, then it has a higher chance of success.

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The Help of a Community

A group supporting you with your goals can be an effective technique for motivation. It is a form of public commitment and peer pressure to keep you from postponing or giving up upon your goals.

You can also use social media to announce and provide updates on your self-improvement endeavor to garner support from people who know you.

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The Money Game

Betting money or taking a financial pledge can help you motivate yourself on days you feel you cannot commit to your new routine.

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Partnering Up

Online support groups and forums can help you find a person or a group of people with the same goal, who can foster a sense of community and help you stay on course.

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Bad Influences

There will be people that may discourage you, try to make you a slacker again, or just thrust their negativity and inner jealousy on your positive goal-setting, trying to sabotage it.

Identify and stay away from negative influencers.

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Your own Experiment

In case you miss your resolution, don't lose hope and start afresh. Keep moving in a positive direction, even with setbacks.

Be kind to yourself in case of a hurdle. You are your own experiment so keep experimenting.

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