New Years Resolutions… Let’s Get It Done

Written by  on January 29, 2005 

Its been almost a month now since the dreaded New Years resolution was stated out loud to the many revelers you were with, in that slightly tipsy state, very early on New Years Day

How are you going with it?

I can’t say I’m a fan of making these types of resolutions because I consider it takes the emphasis off thinking the whole resolution through. The point being that the majority of us seem to drop ours within a few weeks. But I do have a solution… How is it that some people make theirs a workable proposition and integrate it into their lives?

I guess what we are all looking for is how to integrate the resolutions we all make from time to time, into our own lives so that, rather than falling onto the scrapheap after a couple of weeks of trying, we can embrace the idea and make it work for us.

Here is an interesting article was written back in December 1997 and released by The University of Washington entitled

How to keep up with those New Year”s resolutions, researchers find commitment is the secret of success

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In the next week or so, about 100 million Americans will venture down a well-traveled path paved 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 make new friends. All of these are not necessarily broken promises. According to a new University of Washington survey, 63 percent of the people questioned were still keeping their number one 1997 New Year”s resolution after two months.

The study, conducted by Elizabeth Miller, a UW doctoral candidate in psychology, and Alan Marlatt, director of the university”s Addictive Behaviors Research Center, sought to understand the factors that best predict success in keeping New Year”s resolutions. The researchers focused on health-related resolutions because these types of pledges are the most common and 60 percent of Americans die from illnesses connected to behavior such as overeating, lack of exercise and smoking. In addition, little is known about the process by which people make successful behavior changes.

“The keys to making a successful resolution are a person”s confidence that he or she can make the behavior change and the commitment to making that change,” says Miller. In addition, the study indicates that “resolutions are a process, not a one-time effort that offer people a chance to create new habits.” Even if people are successful, they need to follow-up on their behavior over the years, she adds.

To be successful with your own resolutions, Marlatt, who has studied the subject for more than 20 years, suggests:

• Have a strong initial commitment to make a change.

• Have coping strategies to deal with problems that will come up.

• Keep track of your progress. The more monitoring you do and feedback you get, the better you will do.

Sure-fire ingredients for setting yourself up for resolution failure, he adds, include:

• Not thinking about making resolutions until the last minute.

• Reacting on New Year”s Eve and making your resolutions based on what”s bothering you or is on your mind at that time.

• Framing your resolutions as absolutes by saying, “I will never do X again.”

Data from the new study was largely collected over the Internet, with 264 subjects filling out questionnaires in early January and again in March. The majority of subjects, 90 percent, came from the metropolitan Seattle area, with the remainder coming from across the United States. Fifty-four percent of the respondents were female, and the age range of all subjects was 18 to 66.

While the study focused on primary resolutions, most people made several resolutions, with 67 percent making three or more. Increasing the amount of exercise was the most common primary resolution, being made by 37 percent of subjects. It was followed by: increasing the time devoted to study or work, 23 percent; increasing the consumption of healthy food or decreasing the amount of unhealthy food, 13 percent; reducing the use of tobacco, alcohol, caffeine or other drugs used, 7 percent.

People made significantly more resolutions to start or increase a behavior –222– than to stop or decrease something — 42. Only 65 percent of subjects made their resolutions between Dec. 28 and New Year”s Day. The rest made pledges they considered to be New Year”s resolutions as early as May and as late as the end of January. Miller also said that persistence can pay off. Of the people who successfully achieved their top resolution, only 40 percent of them did so on the first attempt. The rest made multiple tries, with 17 percent finally succeeding after more than six attempts.

As final words of encouragement to resolution makers, Marlatt has these suggestions:

“Take credit for success when you achieve a resolution, but it is a mistake to blame yourself if you fail. Instead, look at the barriers that were in your way. See how you can do better the next time and figure out a better plan to succeed. You do get to try again and can make behavior changes throughout the year, not only at New Year”s.”

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Okay, now where was I…

Right then, these resolutions! So as you can see, New Years resolutions have been falling around our feet every year for quite some time.

Well maybe the answer is here….

As a sort of gift for being loyal readers, I thought I would offer one of my 3 month programs to members of CastleCops as a way of you making your resolution or any project you wish, work for you.

The program is designed to provide you with the support and resources to enable you to take steps towards reaching your goal in a timely and successful manner.

Okay, I hear you say, but what’s the catch?… Well I can’t seem to find one at the moment but when I find one, I’ll give you plenty of notice. What I would like is that you use this as a way to make something of what you have going as a thought or an activity, a success!

What’s involved?

Three months of you being committed to the program

Putting in some time each week to progress

Four phone calls to a telephone bridge (as part of a conference call) in the US to work on the program

You will be given access to a private forum to work through your resolution with the support of others also wishing to achieve in the same manner (and, of course, there will be a couple of coaches there to help you through)

You will receive a workbook to download to help you as part of the program

As for you, what is required is the dedication to work through the program. There will be dropouts… I’m afraid that some people will be all dedicated by the excitement of the moment but as time goes on and the actual work has to be done, there are those that will give up because that’s what they do. This program expects that to happen but for those that stick it out, you may be surprised by your abilities to achieve

In saying that, though, there is no guarantee. This is a personal thing. You will get out of it what you want to put in to it. We can provide the environment for this to work, but it is up to you to make it work.

The program will start in mid February and finish is mid May.

If the program sounds like you, please register your interest in this forum thread

It is a free program but it will be restricted in numbers so first in first served will be the order of the day. The rest will be revealed in the thread

So that’s going to be the game. If you want to play then jump aboard.

Until next week

Cheers… Bill

Bill Gray

Bill is a Business Coach. Working with Individuals, Businesses and Organisations to create better environments and to develop and enhance business ”potential”, into successful business practices.

Sydney, Australia

Ph +61 413 949 521

Copyright ©Bill Gray billgray.biz All Rights Reserved 2004.

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