As the calendar sends out the message of a new year, we are reminded of the age old custom of adopting New Year’s resolutions. The best place to start the formulation of these self-imposed behavior modification goals is to look backward. What did I fail to do or to achieve in this year that I hoped for at or near the start of this year? Is there any hope that I can change enough in next year to achieve the desired outcome?
Behavior modification is often a slow process. So ask yourself if you made any progress toward achieving the new year resolutions you made over a year ago. If so you might need to adjust the severity of change you want to accomplish next year. If you made no progress and the relevant circumstances are unchanged, you should probably choose some other area for change.
No matter where your analysis leads you, here are some guidelines for achieving success in achieving your next year resolutions:
Pick no more than 2 primary change resolutions Focus only on these until they are met or significantly accomplished. Only then should you look to add goals from your secondary list.
State the resolution in a positive. It should be something you will do versus not do (remove tobacco from my daily routine versus no more cigarettes).
Have a strategy or plan that will help you achieve the goal. Like go to the library every week to learn about a new subject.
Be sure to have an objective measuring device (like a scale).
Measure your progress regularly (daily, weekly, or monthly).
If your progress is insufficient to meet the goal, modify your strategy to include an easier behavior adjustment. Stay positive about reaching the goal. Keep trying, measuring and adjusting. If the resolution was worthy and beneficial enough in the beginning of the year, its reward will continue to be worth the effort to modify your behavior. Good luck!
R. David Silva