Statistically speaking, our resolve is already flagging in implementing our New Year’s resolutions. According to one online survey, 71% of us are looking to eat healthier and exercise more in 2019. The same survey suggests only 8% of us keep our New Year’s resolutions. In our over-achieving, over-committed lives, it’s not surprising that such singular focused initiatives are almost impossible to build into daily life.
Goals to eat healthily, exercise more, save more/spend less, have more time with family and friends, etc. at some level, are acknowledgements that our current state is dissatisfying, stressful and maybe a bit beyond our control. There is good news here; knowing change never occurs with contentment as the start point. It’s dissatisfaction that spurs growth.
The challenges to adopting new habits will be more successful when viewed as a process of trial and error until the right combination is struck. After all, we have all of 2019 to implement that resolution. A little root cause analysis can go a long way in helping us understand our motivations. Are we resolving to save more/ spend less to indulge in a long wished-for trip? Or to improve our retirement funds? Is getting more exercise due to emerging health issues or from a desire to just generally feel better?
Armed with a deeper understanding we can turn a vague resolution into a SMART goal: Simple Measurable Attainable Realistic Time-Based. Now comes the real work; forging commitment and cultivating self-discipline to grow into our resolution. An accountability agent is key and if it’s not within yourself, perhaps its time to engage some experts such as a financial coach or fitness trainer, take a seminar or join a class—pursue the path that keeps you accountable.
Change is hard, but growth and achievement are so much more rewarding. Make it part of your 2019 plan.