Sticking To New Goals

By Kim Le

At the start of every new year millions of people make that
traditional New Year’s Resolution. They look back on the past 12
months and see what they have or have not accomplished. Many
believe that this is the year they will stick to their goal, yet
come February the resolutions are long forgotten.

Research over the years have shown that about 80 percent of all
New Year’s Resolutions are broken by February. If that resolution
has something to do with health and fitness, 90 percent will be
forgotten by mid January. By the end of the year, less than 5
percent will have actually succeeded with their resolutions.

Why is it that the majority of resolutions fail? Why do we make
resolutions that make us feel guilty or ashamed when we don’t
succeed? The tradition of making resolutions goes way back and so
does the tradition of breaking these resolutions. Many people fail
to go through with their resolutions because many times the goals
are over ambitious, they set goals without really making a plan,
and for the most part the resolutions are more like wishes.

Resolutions have become routine. People use them as a
self-conscious boost. They want to show themselves and everyone
else they have goals that can help to improve their lives. Yet, for
most it is just a show, a self-scam to convince themselves they
will have a better year than the year past.

But resolutions should be more important than that. If we feel
we need to change, then we should be inspired to do so and making
plans to achieve those goals is an important process.

To make your resolutions work this year here are a few simple
steps to success written by Eileen Bailey:

1. Choose one goal to work toward. Don’t begin to list
everything you want to change at once. Help yourself to stay
focused by choosing only one.

2. Make a commitment to your goal. Acknowledge setbacks and
promise yourself that a setback will not allow you to abandon your
goal. Each Monday you will begin again as if it is New Year’s
Day.

3. Break it down to manageable slices. Instead of choosing a
resolution for an entire year, why not set up small goals each
month. Maybe your resolution can be that you choose a goal each
month to work toward. If that is still too long, try for a goal
each week. Whatever it may be, your first goal should be to make
your goals attainable, not to set yourself up for failure.

4. Make a plan of action. Determine what you should do and when
you should do it. Be prepared to alter some of your behaviors in
order to make the change happen.

5. Put your plan in writing.

6. Send yourself reminder notices.

7. Remember no plans are set in concrete. If you find yourself
feeling like a failure reevaluate your plan and your goals to make
sure they are realistic.

Kim Le can be reached by phone at (909) 869-3531 or by e-mail at
opinions@thepolypost.com.

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