26 Dec 2017

How to Keep A New Year’s Resolution

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How many Americans make New Year’s resolutions? According to a University of Scranton report released in January 2014, it’s nearly half (45%). The trouble is that by June, less than half remained committed to their January 1st desire for change. Why do New Year’s resolutions seem doomed to fail?

New Year’s resolutions fail because people are too general. Lose weight, exercise more, spend more quality time with family, quit smoking, get organized. All of these resolutions are too broad. And yet, people can, and do, keep their New Year’s resolutions. The key: Make a realistic, step-by-step plan.

Let’s take an example of one of the New Year’s resolutions above, and delineate how to actualize it. The resolution is: I want to spend more quality time with family. We will now flush out the plan, choosing one specific way to implement the resolution, in this case: Engage in a family activity once/week.

  1. Choose the dates for a full month at a time. Post them on a shared calendar.
  2. Set a monthly budget.
  3. Select the activity and venue. Brainstorm all you wish, just don’t dilly dally on the possibilities. Just decide.
  4. Make the activity at least partially novel and/or fun. Novelty and fun are prime ways to keep us committed to anything, especially with regard to bonding in our relationships.
  5. Define role-division for planning.  Make sure it’s clear who is in charge of what. Perhaps it works better in your family for one person to plan all of it, or for you to split up the planning among family members. For example, one of the family members might prefer to be creative about selecting the activity, while someone else prefers arranging logistics. Roles can rotate, of course.

By following a detailed plan, you’ll find yourself getting used to the rhythm of a new normal based on your New Year’s resolution.  It’s never too late to make a change, just remember to do so by focusing on one aspect, with a very detailed, thought-out plan. This way, your resolution will become reality. At Rockaway Care Center, we of course encourage all of our residents and their families to strive for as best a life as possible, and we are here to help with your planning. Pop the champagne to that, any time of the year!


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