It’s almost the end of 2014, and radio stations, T.V., magazines, and newspapers have already begun evaluating this year. Some have chosen the Hollywood stars that wore it best and worst, the best news of the year vs. the most destructive and life changing. The famous people who have died and what they have accomplished in their lives that have touched the hearts of Americans. These stories and segments inspire us to evaluate our personal lives and what we experienced as the best and the worst moments. For some reason, we tend to focus more on our worst moments than the good ones. These worse moments inspire us to self improve so we can be more successful and happy. We look to the coming year of 2015, with the hope to bring us only the good, so we set out to ensure this will happen by creating New Year’s resolutions. Before you begin your list, let’s take a closer look at the failures and successes of resolutions so we can plan more accordingly and achieve success.
The University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology did a study on the top ten New Year’s resolutions for 2014.
1. Lose weight
2. Getting Organized
3. Spend less, save more
4. Enjoy life to the fullest
5. Staying fit and healthy
6. Learn something exciting
7. Quit smoking
8. Help others in their dreams
9. Fall in love
10. Spend more time with family
These were good goals, but, unfortunately, the study showed that out of 45% of the Americans that made these New Year’s resolutions only 8% were successful in achieving their goals, why is that? Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, also wanted to know why, so he arranged a study of analysis using 700 people and their strategies in trying to achieve their New Year’s resolutions. He found, those that failed had focused on the negatives of not achieving the goals; they dreamed about reaching their goals, and relied on willpower alone as though it would magically manifest into reality by itself. They didn’t take enough action to do something that would make it happen at least not consistently.
On the other hand, the analysis revealed the reasons behind the 8% being successful. First, they created short, tangible goals with strategies to achieve them. Wiseman said,”Many of the most successful techniques involve making a plan and helping yourself stick to it.” The study showed that if people follow the five basic strategies used by these participants that they will raise their chances to succeed by 50%. Here are the five
1. “Breaking it down” each goal has to be broken down into smaller steps by formulating how you are going to achieve it. For example, to spend more time with family your strategy may be to shut off all forms of electronics from social media, email, computers, t.v., phone, etc., from 4-8pm every day. Or your strategy may be to plan every Sunday with a family outing a game day, or a family movie, etc. This break down of your goal makes it more tangible and achievable.
2. “Reward yourself” every time you achieve a step in the process reward yourself. By doing so, you will train yourself to look at your progress in a more positive and productive way, and you will feel great knowing your one step closer to success.
3. “Tell your friends” by telling your friends your goals and sharing your progress with them you make yourself more accountable. Your friends become a support system to help you get over the challenges you may incur along the way.
4. “Focus on the benefits” being positive reaps positive responses you attract what you give and the more you give, the more you get.
5. “Keep a diary” of your progress lays out for you your journey, and you can clearly see how far you’ve gone and how much you have achieved. This clarity will give you the incentive you need to keep moving forward.
You may want to consider making only one or two goals instead of ten. Remember that occasional mishaps are only temporary set backs the key to managing is staying positive. Before starting your list of New Year’s resolutions, write down each disappointment from 2014 on separate pieces of paper. Feel the emotion for a few moments even if it’s painful, then forgive yourself for letting it happen and the other for hurting you. In an outdoor fire pit or fireplace burn them and as you watch the fire consume the paper let it go forever up with the smoke to heaven. Then get yourself a box, mine looks like this
yours could be anything that works for you and write down every precious, good, thing that happens to you throughout 2015 and put it in the box. You can wait until this time next year as 2015 is ending or you can choose a time your feeling down to read those positive notes to inspire you to stand tall and stay focused and place yourself in that 8% of those who have achieved their goals and then some.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! to you and all of your loved ones.
Peace and all Good (Pax et Bonum) ~DAWN~
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You can read the full article of Richard Wiseman’s analysis at http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/dec/28/new-years-resolutions-doomed-failure