The Secret to Successful New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year! We hope you had a beautiful holiday season with loved ones. Now that January is here, it’s time for… you guessed it: New Year’s resolutions. For so many people, just that phrase alone is enough to bring up feelings of failure. This is not surprising, given the fact that only eight percent of New Year’s resolutions are successful.

So what secret weapon do those eight percent have that others don’t? Here’s what we’ve noticed about the difference between successful and unsuccessful New Year’s resolutions, both personally and for others:

First, when ‘New Year’s’ is thrown in front of the word ‘resolution,’ people act as if there is some magic that will make this resolution more successful than if it were made any other time of year. And this is partially true. There is something to be said for the magic of the season that may actually help kick start a resolution. The only thing wrong with this is that the magic doesn’t last. At some point, life will go back to “normal.” At that point, if a person doesn’t have support in place, their resolution is likely to fail.

So while we definitely encourage you to use whatever motivation the holiday season offers you to kick start positive changes in your life, the real secret ingredient to successful resolutions is supportive systems. Supportive systems are what you put in place before you begin your resolution to help you through when things inevitably get difficult.

Chances are that your New Year’s resolution is something you’ve tried to do before, whether it’s quitting smoking, working out regularly, or keeping your house organized. Think about the moments in the past when you fell off the wagon. What may have helped you through those moments had you been able to anticipate them? Here are some support systems that work well in almost any situation:

-          Get a support buddy. It’s helpful if you and your buddy have the same resolution and will support each other through it, but it’s not necessary. Agree to call your buddy any time you feel like giving up on your resolution. Be sure to choose someone who inspires you to be the best you possible.

-          Prepare to mess up. This may sound counter intuitive. But it’s all too common for people to feel as though one slip means total failure. It’s simply not true. Mistakes happen. And when they do, it’s important to forgive yourself and keep going. Write yourself some motivational quotes and letters to open when you may need them most.

-          Start slow. For instance, deciding to go from not working out at all to spending an hour in the gym every day is quite a jump. Instead, chart out a plan that doesn’t feel overwhelming. Maybe you start with 3 half-hour workouts a week instead. From there, you can slowly build your way up.

-          Smile. Do anything you can think of to increase joy in your life. Listen to music you love. Spend time with people you love. Make room for things you enjoy. If you don’t have a hobby, now is as good a time as any to find one. When we’re happy, we are infinitely more able to handle the curveballs life throws our way.

As a matter of fact, that last tip works well as a resolution all on its own. Finding a hobby that brings you joy, and putting in the effort to stick with it, has one of the best returns on investment you’ll ever find. Whether you have made several New Year’s resolutions or none, Morgan Organizers wishes you all a healthy, happy, and joyful New Year. And as always, if you need any help putting systems in place, you know who to call J 301.787.4010