As the clock ticks past midnight each New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day, many have high hopes for making and keeping resolutions and plans for self improvement for the year ahead. Within weeks, or even just a few days, many of our hopes fade and we break those resolutions.
Dr. Diane Brockman, Psychology Professor at Dickinson College, appeared on Good Day PA on abc27 to offer three basic tips for sticking with resolutions. They are: Do not overwhelm yourself, hold yourself accountable and reward yourself.
In terms of not overwhelming yourself, you should narrow your focus — choosing one behavior while making sure that it is specific. In addition, it is wise to set measurable goals.
“A lot of people want to get healthy in the new year, so rather than just saying, ‘I want to get healthy,’ maybe say, ‘I want to go to the gym three times a week one hour a day,'” Brockman said.
To hold yourself accountable, reaching out to a friend could be a perfect solution. Check in once a week with that person to update your progress.
“Just knowing that we have to check in with somebody helps us to motivate — to keep that bevhior going,” said Brockman.
Another method could be using websites and apps to stay accountable. Brockman recommended stickk.com. Once you set your goal, you enter credit card information on the site and the site will send money to someone if you do not reach your weekly goal.
“If you really want to motivate yourself, what you can do is you can actually desginate the money to go to somebody you don’t like or an organization you don’t like which is really motivating,” said Brockman. “As humans, we don’t like to lose things and we don’t like to lose money. And we certianly don’t like to lose money to somebody that we don’t like or an organization that we don’t like.”
Finally, you should reward yourself for a job well done. Rewards are a way to motivate us to work towards the goals that we set.
“Just make sure it’s not counterproductive. If you’re working out three times a week for four weeks straight, you don’t want to say, ‘Oh I’ll take a week off and not go to the gym.'”