3 Science-Backed Ways to Keep Your 2016 Goals

The majority of people who make resolutions aren’t successful in achieving their goals. Whether they vow to work out every day or want to think more positively, only 8 percent of people who make resolutions are successful. Since we’re on the third day of the year, let’s be optimistic and think that you’re one of that 8 percent! To encourage you to try and achieve your goals, let me refer to a recent Business Insider article. Here are three science-backed ways to keep your New Year’s resolutions.

  1. Be realistic. Instead of making an overambitious resolution that is impossible to keep, set goals that you can actually achieve. If you finally want to quit smoking cigarettes, don’t simply go cold turkey by throwing away your pack of Marlboros. Research options for quitting and come up with a plan. Start by cutting back on the number of cigarettes you smoke, get a patch, and have a trusted friend track your progress.
  2. Focus on the process, not the outcome. If you’ve never run more than a mile in your life, don’t suddenly decide that 2016 should be the year you will win a marathon. Instead, resolve to run a little bit each day, gradually working your way up to longer distances.
  3. Set positive goals. According to Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist from Harvard, “Too often, our resolutions can involve changing negative things about ourselves, like being overweight or having bad finances. But this only reinforces negative feelings about ourselves.” It’s better to focus on the positive things you will enjoy, such as taking a dance class or learning how to set up a budget. Remember, most resolutions involve change and change is never easy.

Learn more about setting reasonable and attainable goals by reading S.M.A.R.T. Goals Made Simple.

Do you make overly ambitious goals?