Did you know that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the time February hits? So, why do some people succeed in keeping their resolutions while the majority of us fail? The answer is that success comes to those who think and plan. Here’s how you, too, can stick to your 2018 New Year’s resolutions.

Timing is Key

The new year is a good time to start making behavior changes due to the simple fact that everyone else is doing it too. Motivation and positive reinforcement can come from those that are also trying to improve themselves. Think of it as a circle of people you can lean on when you feel like giving up on your goals.

Set Realistic Goals and Plan

Think realistically about the resolution you’ve made and how you can reach it. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, try for ten pounds instead of 50. Then, when your first goal is met, adjust it accordingly to continue the trend. 

By setting goals that are realistic and creating a detailed plan, you will be on your way to success.

Why Have One Resolution When You Can Have Two?

While you may think that having one resolution will be easier to stick to, scientists have found that to be false! Recent studies by Dr. John Norcross at the University of Pennsylvania at Scranton show that having two similar goals may lead to better success.

For example, if your goal is to exercise more, what will you do to support that? Will you hire a personal trainer and commit once a week? Will you work out with a friend? Will you set a strict schedule and put it on your calendar? 

Documenting your progress when it comes to reaching your goals can also be a great add-on. By holding yourself accountable, you give yourself even more power to meet your goals.

Tell People the Good News

By talking about your goals, you will be more reluctant to abandon them. They key to this is to not speak too soon. By putting the cart before the horse, you can end up creating a false sense of accomplishment, even if you haven’t accomplished anything yet.

If you wait to tell others, an accountability factor comes into play. You’ve started your goal, told others, and now you must continue. Social media can be a useful tool in doing this. Your friends and family can help encourage you, motivate you and keep you on track.

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Try, try again! Many people don’t succeed on their first go-round, and that’s okay. Perseverance is what really matters. By getting back up when you fall, you will increase your chances of success. 

Did you know that Steve Jobs was originally fired from Apple? He also failed with NeXT computer company and the Lisa computer. When he returned to Apple, he led the business to profitability and success. What would’ve happened had he given up?

Never give up.

Reward Yourself

The key to sticking to any goal is to reward yourself. There’s no better time to get a pat on the back than when you’re out of your comfort zone, working hard to improve and nervous about whether you can succeed.

Most people approach change from a position of “pain”. They constantly strive for perfection and get upset if they momentarily fall off the bandwagon, even if they’re actually making great strides! Instead, approach change from a position of “possibilities” instead. Find ways to regularly give yourself thanks and a few words of encouragement. 

By coupling your goals with simplicity, accountability and rewards, you’ll be creating a whole new and improved set of goals in no time!