New Year's resolutions date back to 153 B.C. when January, named after Janus, god of all beginnings, replaced March as the first month of the Roman calendar. More than 2000 years later, people are still making them and breaking them. Practice has made far from perfect!
Failing to keep New Year's resolutions is the norm, rather than the exception. We have a limited amount of self-control, and are creatures of habit. According to an in-depth analysis published in the journal "Psychological Inquiry" our lack of success usually involves one or more of the following issues:
Great achievement begins with a plan. One of the keys to achievement on this often long traveled road to success is to learn something from each time you falter: what did you do this time that you could do differently next time? Examine the obstacles that stood in the way of previous successes. It is important to identify the qualities that you believe were your nemesis in past years, the aspects of yourself that stood in the way of you achieving your goals (e.g. fear, laziness, procrastination, mistrust, martyrdom, greed): then make a conscious choice to develop the opposite qualities, ones that will support you in making this a great year!
To ensure your success in making the best possible choices for yourself, you must first insert your conscious intent and then revisit it on a daily basis. To install a new intent that will drive your every move takes commitment and perseverance. (If you continue to allow your unconscious intent to direct your life, what you can expect is that this year will be a new version of your last). Vision and passion go hand in hand: a clear vision of who you are at your best holds the power to transcend your current reality. Goals that are deeply felt are more likely to be achieved, therefore choose goals that truly have meaning for you and are in keeping with your personal values. When you are firmly rooted in a highly personal, strong vision for your future, you will have not only passion, but the drive and stamina that allow you to achieve your goals, and you will have to draw less on self control.
For those of you who are not experiencing the life you want; if you are not making the best possible choices for yourself on a daily basis; if you are bored, struggling or resigned, here are some additional tips towards staying motivated and achieving successful resolutions:
Outline your Plan
Write a "Pros and Cons" List
Create Contingency Options
Whether you commit to this journey on January 1st, your birthday, or any day of your choice, you can challenge yourself to a life full of successful, fulfilling resolutions. Focus strategically and consistently on the life that you're dreaming of, follow your plan, and enjoy the life that you have created!