According to British researcher, Richard Wiseman, PhD, about 88% of resolutions are not achieved. If you think back on previous resolutions you’ve made, you’ll probably see that this number sounds just about right. The good news is that Dr. Wiseman has been studying not only those who fail, but also those who succeed. He’s been able to pinpoint the top five strategies to achieving your new year’s resolutions (but these would work all year long)! 

  1. Small Goals:  Break down your resolution into small, measurable goals. This will be a series of smaller, definable steps that will lead you, ultimately, to the big prize. Write these down and refer to them often.
  2. Tell on Yourself:  The people who achieved their resolutions also told friends and family about their new commitment. Not only did this create accountability (i.e., your mother might now say something if you reach for that piece of cake after telling her that you were going to cut down on your sugar intake in the new year), it also created support.
  3. Benefit Reminder: Reminding yourself often about why you want to achieve your goals and the benefits you’ll reap once you’ve obtained your outcome, is another key in the success puzzle. Think about how great you’ll look in your bathing suit this summer. Feel yourself taking a deep breath and going on a fun hike after you’ve given up smoking. These are the reminders that will have you sticking to your goals.
  4. Rewards on the Way: Winners of the resolution game also gave themselves small rewards each time they completed one of the steps towards achieving their goal. Got to the gym three times per week for one month?  Treat yourself to a new pair of sneakers, a massage or something else you want (but maybe not that cookie).
  5. Mapping progress: The final step all the people who achieved their goals took was to map their progress along the way to completing their goals. This could be anything from an Excel spreadsheet showing how you are paying off debt and saving money to a chart on your Smartphone where you cross off every glass of water you drank today. 

Start off this year with a focus on doing one thing a little differently. Even if you adopt just one of these tips, you’ll see positive change.