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The Key to Keeping a New Year Resolution

Posted Jan 18 2013 8:36am

The key to keeping a New Year resolution may be to break your goal into small steps and not to dwell on the consequences of not achieving your goal,burberry outleta psychologist has claimed.burberry outletLess than a quarter of Britons will achieve their New Year resolutions in 2010 because they go about it the wrong way,burberry outlet onlineaccording to Professor Richard Wisemanfrom the University of Hertfordshire. He studied 700 volunteers who made a wide range of New Year resolutions, including quitting smoking, losing weight, starting a relationship or gaining a qualification. Just 22 per cent of participants managed to meet their goals or described their progress as “very successful”.

The reason so many failed is that they took the wrong approach—and were led astray by self-help books. By comparing the techniques of successful and unsuccessful resolution makers, Professor Richard Wiseman came up with a list of tips for staying the course when making changes in one’s life. People who failed tended to dwell on the ‘‘bad things’’ that would happen if they did not achieve their goal, said the professor. They were likely to remove temptation from their surroundings, adopt role models, fantasies about being successful, and rely on will power. Successful participants, on the other hand, broke their goals into small steps, rewarding themselves when each stage was passed. They also told friends about what they were trying to achieve, reminded themselves of the benefits of obtaining their goal, and charted their progress. Prof Wiseman’s 10 secrets of success when making New Year resolutions:

1) Make only one resolution; your chances of success are greater when you channel energy into changing just one aspect of your behavior.

2) Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to think about your resolution and instead devote some time a few days before to reflect upon what you really want to achieve.

3) Avoid previous resolutions; deciding to re-visit a past resolution sets you up for frustration and disappointment.

4) Don’t run with the crowd and go with the usual resolutions. Instead think about what you really want out of life.

5) Break your goal into a series of steps, focusing on creating sub-goals that are concrete, measurable, and time-based.

6) Tell your friends and family about your goals, thus increasing the fear of failure and eliciting support.

7) Regularly remind yourself of the benefits associated with achieving your goals by creating a checklist of how life would be better once you obtain your aim.

8) Give yourself a small reward whenever you achieve a sub-goal, thus maintaining motivation and a sense of progress.

9) Make your plans and progress concrete by keeping a hand-written journal, completing a computer spreadsheet or covering a notice board with graphs or pictures.

10) Expect to revert to your old habits from time to time. Treat any failure as a temporary set-back rather than a reason to give up altogether.

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