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Resolutions for change:

New Years Resolutions – Not just a New Year’s Thing

During the start of the New Year most people make resolutions about lifestyle changes – mainly covering smoking cessation, exercise, eating habits, coping with stress at work etc.

However, still filled with good intentions, by January 3rd these resolutions either fail or falter. This article aims to add support to your New Year or not-so-New Year’s resolutions.

Millions of people venture down a well-traveled path with bold and sometimes hastily conceived New Year’s resolutions. It is a route covered with promises to exercise more, lose weight, stop smoking, cut down on alcohol, eat a healthier diet and meet new people. While goals setting is a powerful technique that can be practiced year round, it is obviously around the New Year’s date that many people think most about what they want to change or accomplish. The end of the year brings about a time for reflections and assessment of personal progress that has occurred during the past year. 

The coming of a new year is seen as a fresh start and a time for deciding what needs to be changed and where to go next. It is for these reasons that so many people make New Year’s resolutions to accomplish things such as: to exercise more, quit smoking, pay off debt, save more money, complete projects, make more money, get organized, further education, lose weight, etc. The word ‘resolution’ comes from the word ‘resolve’ which is “to make up one’s mind or decide firmly”, but simply making a decision to change isn’t enough to keep one motivated for log.

With this in mind “how do I break the cycle of breaking my personal resolutions?” First of all it is important to understand that, “resolutions are a process, not a one-time effort that offer people a chance to create new habits.” To be successful with your own resolutions you must; have a strong initial commitment to make a change, develop strategies to deal with problems that will come up, and regularly track your progress. The more reviewing and monitoring you do, the better you will do.

The requirements for achieving your New Year’s resolutions are the same as achieving any other goal you set. The following tips can help you successfully set and achieve your goals for New Year’s or any other day:

What Experts say

Experts have shown that designing a detailed plan you will dramatically increase your success rate. For example, a crew cannot construct a building without a detailed plan. Why should you view your health program any differently?

Be Positive

Start the process of change with a positive and healthy attitude. Make as many of the resolutions “I will...” commitments, as apposed to “I will not…”

Recording your personal baseline

A baseline is a measurement of the existing behavior and noting when and how often that behavior occurs before treatment. Examples include, how often and when a person uses tobacco, eats high calorie foods, or displays outbursts of anger. The baseline measurement of behaviour will help you set realistic goals and identify future improvement levels.


A trigger is simply anything that causes or increases the likelihood of behaviour. Therefore, if we know what and what is motivating behavior, we can create future interventions by planning alternative coping mechanisms.

Learn by looking at your past

If you have attempted to change your behaviour in the past but have not succeeded, what exactly went wrong? What will be different this time? Therefore, when you previously tried to reach a goal, you should have learned something about yourself and the behaviour, which can be applied, to your new attempt.

Plan specifically for stress management

Two of the most frequently cited reasons for personal failure are inadequate time management and/or increased levels of stress. Changing behaviour is hard enough without the additional difficulty of trying to balance out work, interpersonal relationships, family, and everyday life situations. Unfortunately, when things get stressful, people often relapse back to their old unhealthy behaviour’s. Knowing this ahead of time, you must plan and prepare strategies for such future events.

Develop a support system for your resolution

Research concludes that the people who succeed at making lifestyle changes typically have support systems. Consequently, telling others about your goals and objectives increases your accountability to the behaviour. From the very start, you should begin by telling those around you about your fitness program, this way you will increase your likelihood of success by enlisting greater levels of support. This contract will not only increase the suppport of those around you but it will also make your commitment public and help to convince both you and others that you are serious about this change.

As part of the strategy explained above, initiate ways to increase the involvement of others in your efforts. For example, you could always lure a friend into joining and commiting to behaviour with you. Having someone to workout with or quit chewing tobacco can drastically boost your success rate. No matter if it is a spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, roommate, co-worker, or even an acquaintance, being accountable to someone other than yourself will help to keep you on track.

Seek Help

If your resolutions/goals attempt to overcome some of the more dangerous or difficult behaviours such as smoking, drinking too much, drug abuse, etc., get help. Consult your doctor, other health professional, or self help group before trying it alone – there are experts out there who have the knowledge and experience you will need to achieve your goals.

The program for success and maintenance 

With any new venture or attempt it is imperative to have the right mental attitude. For instance, winners always have the mindset that their goals are possible and within reach. Not everyone has this positive outlook, but it can be improved through both positive self-talk and visualization. Thus, you must develop a mental image of who you want to become and then act as if you are that person. See yourself as a nonsmoker, as a fit – healthy person, as an emotionally pleased human being.

Be Specific

When thinking about your goal, be as exact as possible. People who set specific goals are more likely to succees. For example, “I will attend yoga 2X per week” instead of “I will exercise. Or “ I will save $20.00 each paycheck” rather than “I will save money”.

Be Realistic

When you think about setting goals, make sure that they are within your reach. Be mindful of your finances, schedule, and other personal affairs. Many people forget to think about these important facts and, as a result, they set unrealistic goals for themselves.

Be Flexible

Keep in mind that setbacks can happen. Stay positive about your progress. Don’t become discouraged and give up. Your hard work will pay off!

Reward yourself frequently

Starting an exercise regimen can be physically and mentally draining, with few immediate results. An effective coping method would be to link an alternate activity that you find personally rewarding with your exercises. Therefore, you should find something to look forward to that can be combined or achieved with your exercise program. Choose something that makes you feel intrinsically great about your exercise commitment and you will increase your chances of success. Whether it is a deserving massage, hot tub, or a satisfying healthy meal, your behaviour needs reinforcement so you can feel good about your effort.

Provide a Visual Record

Another way to increase your success and motivation is to keep a visual record of your accomplishments. This can be done by simply writing on a calendar or using a daily progress chart: Although, most people today choose to track their achievements and setbacks by writing in a daily journal. The journal works because it further holds you accountable to your daily behaviours. Therefore, if you write about your efforts, then you are more likely to follow through on your goals.

The keys to making a successful resolution are confidence that you can make the behaviour change and the commitment to making the change.


resolutions are a process, not a one-time effort that offer you a chance to create new habits.”

Even if you are successful, you will need to follow-up on your behaviour over the years. Take credit for success when you achieve a resolution, bit is a mistake to blame yourself if you fail. Instead, look at the barriers that were in your way. See how you can improve your efforts for the next time and figure out a more successful plan. Remember, behaviour changes occur throughout the year, not only at New Year’s.

Begin Today on Creating Your Better Life of Prosperity, Rewarding Relationships, Business Awareness, and Spiritual Awareness.

Donald Carty is one of the best presenters of Personal Development information in the world. But he is also a man with a mission, to bring this key information for achieving success to the individual person who needs it most. A step by step workbook guide for anyone interested in Success — full of tips, questionnaires, self analysis, and exercises.  Presented through a collection of Donald Carty's  very best tried and proven first hand personal development  action plans. 

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