A New Year is upon us, and with that comes ambitious promises to make this year better — more productive — than the last. Perhaps you resolve to read more, get out and travel, or finally nail down that weekly gym routine. But despite our best intentions, only 8 to 10 percent of us will achieve the New Year’s goals we set. With that in mind, we’ve compiled some expert advice to help you transform your New Year’s intentions into reality.
Invest in a weekly planner and fill it out religiously. Whether your goal is to regularly exercise or finally pen that novel, blocking out time in your calendar is a must. A study in the British Journal of Health Psychology found that 91 percent of people who physically wrote down when they planned to exercise ended up following through. Meanwhile, subjects who read motivational material about working out but did not record an intended time and date to do so showed no increase in physical activity.
Set 90-day goals. It takes an average of 66 days to develop a new habit, and according to experts, the 90-day time period is where ambition and planning fall reasonably close together. People have trouble sticking to yearly goals because the time period is too vast — there seems to be endless amounts of time for which to push things off. By making a 90-day plan (and even better, breaking down the 90 days and setting weekly goals within that timeframe) you’re better able to take concrete steps towards achieving your ambitions. Let’s take writing a novel as an example: resolve to write three sample chapters or a book proposal in 90 days, then set weekly goals within that set to make sure you stay on track.
Get support. Tell a friend or trusted loved one about your resolution. Ask them to help keep you focused should you start to waiver. Consider joining online support groups for common resolutions such as losing weight, training for a marathon, or giving up sweets. Connecting with others in your position can be enormously encouraging and will give you the chance to support their goals as well, reinforcing positive emotions in regards to your goal.
From all of us at Chelsea Clock, we wish you a happy and productive New Year!