It is the time for new year resolutions again.
According to statistics nearly half of us make a resolution but a very small number of people actually succeed in sticking to their resolution. I know that has to be true as I am one of the guilty parties and did not succeed last year in achieving the goal I had set as my new year resolution.
So I got to thinking about why we fail and decided that the problem with new year resolutions is that they tend to be too vague, too ambitious and open ended. We promise to lose weight but we don't set out the plan to achieve the weight loss or we promise to give up something like cigarettes, chocolate or alcohol but mostly do little more that try to go cold turkey on these habits. Or we decide that we should be more organised and plan ahead (perhaps because we got into trouble with leaving the Christmas shopping to the last minute) but fail to set up the processes to help us plan. Doomed to failure we boldly declare our resolutions and go forth into the new year full of hope and not much more.
Some of the most popular resolutions are - to lose weight, take more exercise, spend less, give up smoking, give up alcohol, become more organised. Do you see the pattern here? Each resolution is about the result and not the route to the result.
So maybe we could succeed with our resolutions if we set up the process. Instead of "lose weight" and or "take more exercise" why not join a gym and stop using the lift or escalator, join a walking group or take up a new activity such as swimming, dancing, jogging or gardening. To give yourself an incentive you could pick out a really nice outfit or some expensive lingerie and have that as your reward when you achieve a target weight loss or fitness level. Instead of "spend less/give up smoking/alcohol" open a savings account and every time you think of spending on something non essential, which lets face it includes alcohol and cigarettes, put the money in the savings account. Make it an account that is not instant access so that you are deterred from drawing from it and when it is a really good amount you can use the money for something important or special. As for becoming more organised... you could start by using some form of diary or organiser. Lists are good as well so that you can plan and prioritise what you need to do. If you have a habit of leaving gift buying to the last minute you could use our reminder service - you will find it on the first page of your account. You can set it up to remind you of important dates such as a birthday or anniversary. You can even use it for dates you can't forget like Christmas by setting a Christmas shopping day in the reminder system. Then you can shop early and avoid those last minute dramas and disappointment on Christmas Day.
Have you failed or succeeded with new year resolutions? Why not tell us about it.