2 great articles to help you make your New Year Resolutions a reality!

2 great articles to help you make your New Year Resolutions a reality!

I'm not quite sure if I'm a fan of New Year's Resolutions as I think we should set goals more than once a year and I think we should contemplate and work on our health and happiness 365 days of the year!

Too often, when people I talk to set New Year's Resolutions they tend not to follow through partly because, I believe, they see them as something one only thinks about on January 1!!!

But, that being said, there are undoubtedly many, many people right now thinking about how to make 2012 a better and happier year, with health and happiness and wellbeing and success at the forefront so with that in mind, here are a few interesing and hopefully helpful articles I'm happy to share with you…

Firstly, from Psychology Today, "Begin the New Year with Positive Momentum"…

This week when my husband Bob and entered the gym for our regular workout, Dom at the front desk said, "You two are consistent. But you'll see lots of people come here for the first two weeks in January and then never see them again."

How many New Year's resolutions fall by the wayside because of lack of persistence? Why do so many of us give up when we don't see immediate results? My friend Wayne, who works in medical sales, knows what persistence means. He says that it takes ten calls before someone says "Yes." If you give up after four or five tries, you never make the sale.

Persistence breaks through resistance, helping us reach our goals. In my book, Your Personal Renaissance, I tell how international portrait photographer Michael Collopy developed his skills through resourcefulness and perseverance. After seeing an Ansel Adams exhibit in Oakland, Collopy got Adams' number from Information and called him. The two men met and became friends, with Adams sharing his expertise in black and white photography and love of nature. When Collopy realized he wanted to photograph people, he went to New York to meet photographer Richard Avedon. With no connections, he simply stood outside Avedon's studio for days, waiting for him to come out. Collopy's persistence paid off. They finally met, and he learned valuable lessons from Avedon, going on to photograph world leaders such as Mother Teresa, Jimmy Carter, Jane Goodall, Linus Pauling, and the Dalai Lama (Dreher, 2008, p. 139).

Persistence can transform our lives, leading to great strength of character. As Winston Churchill said in 1941, "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty-never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense."

Persistence has been identified by Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman's research as one of twenty-four character strengths common to humankind. Like any strength, it can be developed with practice.

Some keys to developing persistence are:

  • intrinsic motivation-you must find a task meaningful and enjoyable,

  • social support-encouragement from others that fosters your own determination,

  • positive feedback-reinforcement and reassurance that your efforts are paying off (Peterson & Seligman, 2004).

Keep reading HERE

And secondly, with some additional tips and ideas for consideration…from the Daily Herald, "New Years Resolutions about motivation, not the New Year" 

If your New Year's resolution is to lose weight or get in shape you are not alone. Every January millions of Americans make it their goal to be healthier, but studies show that more than half of those people will fail.

According to an article in Positive Psychology News, within two weeks after the new year 30 percent of people have scaled back their resolution efforts. By June most people have given up all together; in fact, only 12 percent of people achieve their resolutions.

"People set really vague general goals that are hard to keep," said Melissa Jones, licensed psychologist in Provo. "But there a few things people can do to set goals that are more likely to be achieved."

Jones suggests people set specific goals that can be measured and attained.

"Goals need to be realistic and be things that are actually possible to achieve," Jones said. "If you want to lose 20 pounds by June, make sure you actually have 20 pounds to lose and that you have the motivation to do it."

Many gyms are offering discounted memberships and trials to help people keep those New Year's resolutions.

"There is definitely a lot more people in the gym in January," Kalae Mawahine, manager at University Gold's Gym, said. "That surge usually only last about a month or a month and a half, though."

Jones says one of the main reasons people lose motivation early on is because they expect perfection in their resolutions.

"A lot of people will say, 'I am going to work out five times a week,' but then when in the second week of January they only work out four times they feel like they failed and give up," she said. "Be sure to build forgiveness and compassion for yourself into your resolutions."

Another suggestion Jones makes for keeping resolution is to make sure you have a system of support…

…keep reading the rest of this article HERE

And don't forget…

  • you can find support at The Happiness Institute (HERE) via our free weekly eNewsletter, our Facebook Page (HERE), my Twitter feed (HERE)

  • If weight loss is your goal then check out our revolutionary program, The Happiness Diet (HERE)

  • And if you're in or near Sydney then take advantage of a rare opportunity to spend a full day with Dr. Happy (aka Prof./Dr. Timothy Sharp) learning how to make the most of your life (HERE)

So, here's to a great 2012 for all!