Let us guess: You want to lose weight in 2019, or maybe just eat healthier. Perhaps you want to spend less money or spend more time with your friends and family.
Self-improvement, or at least the desire for it, is a common goal for New Year. But for all the good intentions, only a tiny fraction of us keep our resolutions; University of Scranton (USA) research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals.
Why do so many people fail at goal-setting, and what are the secrets behind those who succeed? The explosion of studies into how the brain works has more experts attempting to explain the science behind why we make resolutions—and more relevantly, how we can keep them.
Try to follow some rules this year and compare:
Keep it Simple
Many people use the New Year as an opportunity to make large bucket lists or attempt extreme makeovers, whether personal or professional. That’s a nice aspiration, experts say—but the average person has so many competing priorities that this type of approach is doomed to failure.
Make it Tangible
Setting ambitious resolutions can be fun and inspiring, but the difficulty in achieving them means that your elation can quickly give way to frustration. That’s why goals should be bounded by rational, achievable metrics.
A resolution to lose some weight is not that easy to follow, it is much easier to follow a plan that says no potato chips, fries, or ice cream for six weeks.
Be specific. Don’t say you’re going to learn how to swim, say you will attend the “learn how to swim course” twice a week during 3 weeks.
Make it Obvious
Experts recommend charting your goals in some fashion, although there’s no universal strategy for success. For some, making a clear to-do list is enough of a reminder; others rely on “vision boards” or personal diaries.
An emerging tactic: share your goals with your friends and family. It’s another way to build accountability, especially in the Social Media era. Public your goals in Facebook and Instagram, it helps a lot to discipline yourself.
Keep Believing You Can Do It
To be clear: Simply setting a goal does raise your chances of achieving that goal, significantly. But within weeks or months, people begin abandoning their resolutions as they hit bumps in the road that throw them off their stride.
More often than not, people who fail to keep their resolutions blame their own lack of willpower.
You have as much willpower as you think you have, essentially. Which means that on some level, your journey toward self-improvement will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
We have reached a lot in 2018 and we have so many plans for 2019:
- Free swimming courses for asylum seekers
- New format for free style courses and maybe continuation courses. We plan to challenge you a bit more, that is why we invite you to try a bigger pool with us.