“Resolution” doesn’t mean change. It means a firm decision to do or not to do something. Hearing it makes me think of related words like: Resolute. Resolve. Stand your ground. Stanchion. Rock. Unwavering. Solid. Committed. Willpower. Sense of purpose. Driven.

Imagine yourself standing in front of a challenge with your fists on your hips. In charge, in command. Ready to take on the world! No temptations getting in your way. Feeling like you’re invincible.

Resolving to do something is action-based. You are the subject, the cause of action, the spark, the fire; not the receiver waiting for something to happen to you. Having this mindset means greater success in acting on your intentions instead of staying static.


Here’s how to succeed this year:

Creating your resolutions

First, start off right. Before you make a concrete goal, get to the heart of your true objective, tease out the “why,” your motivation behind it. Reflect on the past year and decide what you can make happen differently.

Limit your resolutions so you aren’t spread too thin. Having several goals is great, but not when they compete for priority. A short list is easier to tackle, and when one goal is accomplished you can move forward to the next.


Sticking to your resolutions

Make choices that are consistent with your identity. “Whether you realize it or not, you make decisions based on staying true to your self-stories… You want to make decisions that match your idea of who you are,” explains Susan Weinschenk, PhD, a psychologist and author.

Set weekly or monthly reminders. Doing this is as easy as signing up for a recurring email prompt, or making a note on your wall or smartphone calendar.

Have visual cues. You may opt for obvious sticky notes or subtle well-placed postcard-sized images of things that relate to your resolution.

Share your resolutions. Verbalizing (or social media broadcasting) your resolutions to others increases your accountability. You are more likely to stay on course when others know your goals and might ask about your progress.

Ask for support when needed. Seeking and accepting help from those close to you may enable you to overcome challenges and deal with stress.

Display or showcase your successes. By highlighting the positives, you focus on what you can accomplish, which is motivating!


Dealing with setbacks

If you fall off course or realize it’s March before you’ve taken a step toward your goals, don’t worry. Treat setbacks like hiccups – expect them to occur, accept them, and then move on. Being resilient by bouncing back from difficulty allows you to get back on course. It’s never too late to change habits for the better.


Psychology Today “The Science of Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work” https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brain-wise/201612/the-science-why-new-years-resolutions-dont-work

American Psychological Association “Making Your New Year’s Resolution Stick” http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/resolution.aspx

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