January 3, 2014
How to Make Your Resolution Last

It is that time of year again: time to set goals to create a new you. Ditch those old habits, create new ones, lose weight, save money, stop doing this, and start doing that. Unfortunately, the stereotype of resolutions is that they do not last. We all have that friend who resolves to make a change. After three weeks of effort they realize that it is a lot of work to maintain the change, their motivation drops, and they end up quitting. Has this ever happened to you? Why did it happen?

Let’s change this around a little bit: instead of resolving to hit a goal, resolve to make a couple small changes. If you resolve to achieve a goal, you are likely to take massive action. Massive action is awesome if you are emotionally charged to achieve your goal, but if you are not fully invested, a couple small changes are much easier to maintain than a lot of drastic changes.

If you commit to exercising for 90 minutes a day, 6 days per week, in order to reach your goal, you will soon be thinking about other things you can do with your time. I mean, if it is going to take you 90 minutes per workout, there surely has to be something else you can do with that time. Eventually, a 90 minute commitment per day will lose out to the other competing factors in your life. However, if you commit to crushing a workout for 30 or 45 minutes 3-5 times per week, you are much more likely to stick with it.

The same goes for eating. If you commit to eating “perfectly” then the time when you inevitably eat a cheat meal, you are much more likely to feel failure and just quit. Quitting is lame, and you can avoid putting yourself in that situation by simply changing your resolution from achieving goals to making small changes.

Instead of trying to hit a goal of losing 30 pounds, make a commitment to exercising 3 times per week for at least 45 minutes, and instead of choosing to eat perfectly until the day you die, just choose to eat vegetables every day. These small changes are more manageable and will still help you achieve the same goal. There are two ways to think of this:

1. You can choose a goal to think about and make the necessary habit changes.
2. You can choose to make habit changes that lead you to your goal.

If you have not been successful with option 1, give number 2 a try. Habits are the key to your long term success. Focus on them and you will achieve what you wish.


Written by Clark Masterson

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