It is a month into the New Year and it is time to check in with our New Year’s resolutions. A common sentiment amongst resolution makers is, “I started great, but I fell back into old habits.” Resolutions are in their basic form are self-help pledges, things that we want to do for ourselves that we feel would improve our well-being. So what is the trick? What makes people succeed in keeping their resolutions?
Attainable – Resolution keepers have attainable resolutions, in other words, they pick things they can visualize completely in their mind. They can see the steps required to accomplish their resolutions and they can see themselves doing each step.
Support – Resolutions are a desire to change behavior. Changing our behaviors requires conscious effort and using the energy of others to help us stay on course is key to making a resolution part of our lifestyle. Resolution keepers have supports that keep them accountable in a caring way. Resolution keepers support themselves as well as minimize their slip-ups; focusing on what they need to do to accomplish their resolution.
Self-fulfilling Prophecy – This is, perhaps, the most important trick. A self-fulfilling prophecy is the belief we hold about an expected outcome. What we believe is directly linked to how we act. If one believes that New Years resolutions are useless because no one ever keeps them – the resolution is doomed from the start because the expectation is that the resolution is bound to fail and at first sign of failure the resolution will be abandoned. Resolution keepers have a positive self-fulfilling prophecy. Their inner dialogue looks like, “I am someone who can keep resolutions. This change I want to make matters to me, if I struggle I am going to keep at it. I will find ways to be consistent by using my family or friends to support this change. I am going to keep my resolution.”