January 1 is just days away and for many of you that will mean embarking on a grand adventure otherwise known as your new year’s resolution. I browsed a few websites looking for statistics on how many of us will actually KEEP those resolutions throughout the year and came to this consensus, 40-45% of American adults will make one or more resolutions this year. Of those:
- 75% will maintain past the first week
- 71% past the first two weeks
- 64% past the first month
- 46% will maintain for six months
So, in case you’re not one of our current Statistics master’s degree students, let me break it down for you. Say there are 1000 American adults; 450 will make a new year’s resolution, but only 207 will stick to it for half the year – who knows how much that number declines after July.
As in your pursuit of an online degree, we want you to succeed. And since the odds are stacked against you, I’ve researched a few tips to keep you from becoming another failed statistic.
Five Ways to Better Your Chances of Not Having to Repeat Your 2012 New Year’s Resolution in 2013
1. Aim low
As negative as this sounds, just be realistic and specific. Don’t set a goal you know will take a miracle to achieve. Work to lose 15 pounds rather than 50. Make a twice a week gym commitment instead of “et back in the gym. “Don’t try to simply get out of debt, but rather, pay off my Visa bill. SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
2. Spread the word
Tell everyone you know what your New Year’s resolution is. The more people you have to hold you accountable, the better. When your colleague asks how the weight loss is going, wouldn’t it be embarrassing to say, oh I haven’t started yet. In addition to telling people, write it down for yourself. You’ve heard it a million times, and it’s still true – there’s really power in writing something down. It takes something from an idea to real life, and there’s something motivating about that.
3. Reward yourself
Have a reward in mind for yourself to enjoy when you meet your goal. This gives you something to look forward to as you work throughout the year. A new pair of shoes, dinner out at your favorite restaurant, a mini-vacation – whatever is it, plan something that gets your motor going and will keep you motivated.
4. Allow an occasional slip, and start over if you have to
For most of us quitting something cold turkey isn’t happening, and making a new habit part of our daily routine probably won’t be a daily occurrence in the beginning. For example, I’m going to try to give up sugar this year. If you know me at all, you know this could be close to impossible, and probably breaks the realistic rule in tip number one. Nevertheless, I’m going for it. However, when I breakdown and have to have a piece of candy to get through my day, it doesn’t have to be the end of my entire attempt to keep my New Year’s resolution. Or, if my sugar consumption gets out of control and I have to stop and start over, that’s ok too. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Achieving a goal with a few failures along the way is better than giving up all together, don’t you think?
5. Consider several small goals to get you to the ultimate goal
New Year’s resolutions are typically life-changing pursuits, meaning you can’t expect it to happen overnight. Let’s go back to the weight-loss example. Say your ultimate New Year’s resolution is to lose 20 pounds. Break that into mini-monthly goals. By the end of January, I will have a gym membership. By the end of February, I will have workouts in my schedule three times a week. End of March, I will have obtained diet information. End of April, I will have learned to cook 10 health-wise meals. End of May, I will have rewritten my grocery list to incorporate healthier choices, etc.
I hope these help, and would love to hear any other tips you all might have for one another, and for me! Use this blog to take advantage of tip number two, and share your New Year’s resolutions with fellow online and prospective students! Happy holidays!