Getting a Jump on Your 2016 New Year’s Resolutions

(Honolulu, HI) December 22, 2015 – How many times have you made New Year’s resolutions only to hopelessly abandon them two weeks into the new year? Nearly half of all Americans usually make a New Year’s resolution but only a mere 8 percent are actually successful in achieving their goal, according to Statistic Brain Research Institute.

“In counseling and coaching patients over the years, I have discovered that events like breaking a resolution can be more than devastating,” said Dr. Lenley Jackson, founder of Harvesting Wellness, a local company which specializes in holistic wellness through products, tips and workshops. “Often times, it can result in downward spiraling health, finances, relationships or all three.”

Making New Year’s resolutions doesn’t have to be an idealist fantasy. Create resolutions that you can maintain, sustain and, in the process, improve your wellness, relationships and finances.

The first rule: Don’t Wait Until New Year’s Day To Make Your Resolutions. It’s a common mistake to wait until New Year’s Eve to formulate resolutions. The challenge of this method is that your resolution becomes more of a “fad” or “hype,” which, once the magic of the holidays dissipate, will often also dissipate into forgetfulness. The key is to formulate your resolutions prior to the new year so that in the process of fulfilling them, you achieve momentum which will sustain you through all 365 days.

The second rule is Take Action. This rule is very important. Without action, it is impossible to realize your dreams and goals. Actions can stimulate growth and learning. Well formulated actions can also facilitate your accountability for change. For example, let’s say your New Year’s resolution, like most Americans, is to lose weight. Can you see that without action, this goal is unattainable?

Now let’s say you formulated your resolution in October. You’ve already begun dieting and exercising, and while doing this, you find that you are not losing weight. Your gut instinct may be that after a workout you are sabotaging your diet with junk food. In other words, your actions have led to insight and learning. This may prompt you to alter your regimen so that your calorie intake is below your calorie expenditure, leading to weight loss. You might even decide to receive additional help and motivation from an online group or program. These actions establish accountability.

The third rule is Create Momentum. Positive momentum is created when events—big or small—bring you closer to fulfilling your goal. In a basketball game, momentum can be created when events such as scoring a basket, blocking a shot or making an incredible play collectively propel a team closer towards its goal of winning. The key here is to generate a series of small, manageable tasks that can be accomplished.

To illustrate, you do not want one of your tasks in your goal of losing weight to be to climb Mount Everest. Perhaps, instead, you decide to start a food diary or research quick, healthy meals that you can prepare. Another key is to regularly generate new accountability tasks to continue experiencing growth, change and momentum. The rate at which you generate new goals depends upon you and your scheduling time constraints.

It’s important to fulfill one task first before generating new ones. Having too many tasks that cannot be achieved is equivalent to formulating the seemingly impossible task of climbing Everest. The effect is the same: feeling discouraged, abandoning the tasks and, eventually, the resolution. The key is to continue growing and achieving your short-term goals in order to sustain the momentum needed to reach your resolution.

“Making New Year’s resolutions does not have to be a painful process every year,” Dr. Jackson said. “If you formulate your goals early enough, take positive action and create momentum, you will find yourself beckoning the new year with glowing victory.”