New year resolutions

Making new year resolutions has become a modern ritual.

As new year starts approaching, everyone starts planning their resolutions. On the 1st day of the new year, the resolutions are mouthed, publicized and acted upon.

However, as the year progresses, the resolutions fall by the wayside. Let’s take a look at why this happens.

In many cases, the resolutions are not SMART. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable,Realistic & Timely . This is not a blog post about setting SMART goals, I will do it some other time.) And they are bound to fail.

However, many SMART resolutions end up being unsuccessful.

Most resolutions require change of behaviour or lifestyle. Let’s look at some examples

  • Reduce weight. This will need changes in eating habits, will need regular exercise.
  • Get out of debt. Requires changes to spending patterns
  • Spend more quality time with family. Requires changes in work habits.

All such changes are very difficult to bring about. It’s even more difficult when we try to make many such changes at the same time.

If we understand and accept this, then two keys emerge that will help us make a success of our resolutions.

1. Make only one resolution at a time &

2. Convert a resolution into a Habit

As they say

A HABIT is very difficult to give up.

If you give up a little HA BIT remains.

If you give up a little more HABIT remains.

If you give up even more HABIT remains. Smile

It takes 21 days to form a habit. When we do something consistently for 21 days, we get habituated to it and then it’s difficult to break the habit.

So keep acting on the resolution for 21 days, or even for a whole month. Make it into a habit. Then, make the next resolution.

So, by making one resolution every month, one can successfully make a dozen lifestyle changes within a year. Rather than making a dozen resolutions at the beginning of the year and not keeping any of them.

My resolution for this month is to write a blog post everyday. I am on day 3!

Best of luck with your resolutions.

P.S. Guys, even if you see this in facebook, please post your comments on the blog. Let me know you are reading it.

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9 Responses to New year resolutions

  1. Pingback: Finally, a century… | Makarands Musings

  2. Pingback: Tools to form habits and enforce commitments | Makarands Musings

  3. Mohammed Sufiyan Khan says:

    My Resolutions are to Start writing diary and Start praying Namaj 5 times a day…

  4. Prajaka Bagwe says:

    Resolutions are like
    Teachability Index = (will to learn) x (will to change) …

    where rightly said the factor willing to change is most important factor determining the success rate 🙂

  5. Hi Makarand,

    Superb blog!. This is exactly what happens with resolutions. I tried a new way to make my resolution to work. I had decided to go to Gym as a new year resolution.It was really a difficult task for a lazy person like me!. But I everyday used to find out new challenge to continue the gym. I had just learned driving.So I used to go to gym by car , so that was always exciting,kept me going to gym. On tuesday they have dance class in the gym , I started learning dance as a exercise. Suddenly the resolution was all fun, I started enjoying it truly. All I mean is, to complete the resolution, we all need to find some excitement and innovative ideas to complete it in different ways. Resolutions are great to follow and once you achieve it, nothing like it!!.

  6. Parag says:

    I have always liked listening to you .. I did read all your blogs (since I found out about it today)… it was almost (not entirely) like listening to you speak and I enjoyed it..I did not make any resolutions this year … but I might now try to read your blog everyday and call it a resolution if I pass the 21 day test!!!
    I liked the first and the third day blog, the second blog, made me think…….

  7. Dinesh Gajjar says:

    Very Good lession learnt on resolution. Thanks for sharing it.

  8. Aadil says:

    Very cool! looking forward to reading your blog everyday.

    The habit forming theory has worked well for me. 40 days is my timeframe. I learnt it during tabla lessons. I was told if I play something perfectly for 40 days continuously, I will never forget it. I did and I still can play those pieces as well even if i touch the tabla after a 6 month break. So far working out is the other area where i used it successfully.

    My new years resolution in 2008 was to read one marathi book cover to cover…am still working on it 😉

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