It's the end of the year, and the chances are good that you are one of the thousands of Americans who will be making a New Year's Resolution(s) heading into 2015.
According to statistics researched by the University of Scranton's Journal of Clinical Psychology, just under 50 percent of Americans make resolutions for the New Year, but fewer than 10 percent will actually follow through on them.
The numbers may be a little disheartening for some. And the question remains: Why is the majority of the resolute so unsuccessful at reaching their goals?
One possibility is that you may be over-ambitious. Many people treat the New Year as a chance to start over. Setting goals for the year can be a good thing, but setting too many goals makes them that much harder to maintain. A better idea instead is to keep it simple. Focus on just a few things you'd like to work on and don't get yourself bogged down shooting for the moon.
Some of the top resolutions for 2014 were losing weight, going to the gym, saving money and quitting smoking. The usual suspects. And as usual, the broadness of those goals almost certainly set the person making them up for failure.
Forbes contributor Dan Diamond suggests narrowing down goals into very specific and more easily attainable subsections. Simply “trying to lose weight” is far too vague. How about drinking more water and less soda? Or cutting back on fast food trips each month?
Instead of saying you want to start going to the gym, set a specific time of the week you'd like to make your “gym time.”
If you want to “save money,” then set aside an amount you can afford to do without during each pay period and stick to it!
Another helpful tool Diamond points out is keeping your goals out in the open. If you and a friend set some of the same goals, you'll be more apt to motivate each other to keep up with them.
Keep track of your progress and let your friends and family know how you're doing. It's a good way to build up consistency and take pride in what you want to accomplish.
Finally, and most importantly, believe in yourself. New Year's Resolutions aren't supposed to be anchors around your neck. They should be positive and fun. If you slip up, it's OK. People make mistakes. Instead of beating yourself down and giving up, take it and stride and pick back up where you left off.
Happy New Year, Oklahoma!