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12 Experts on Keeping Your Resolutions

By Ysmay | December 29, 2014

The Christmas holiday is over, and the New Year is finally upon us. Most people spend this time reflecting on the previous year and making plans for the year to come. We all have things we want to change, and the New Year seems the perfect time to do so. Even ancient civilisations thought so. The ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods that they would return borrowed items and pay off debt in the New Year.

While we usually aren’t making promises to our gods with our resolutions, we are making promises to ourselves. Because of that, our modern use of New Year’s resolutions can be a powerful tool in achieving things we feel are missing in our lives.

“The new year is a great time to push the reset button on our wellness routines, or to tackle an important health goal,” says life coach Sally Anne Giedrys. “But no matter what time of year you set a goal and commit to it, one of the most important factors for success is spending some time upfront understanding why you want to make this particular change and what truly motivates you.”

Bad planning could be part of the reason so many people fail at achieving their resolutions. In a study conducted by Richard Wiseman in 2007 on the success of resolutions, 88% of those who set resolutions failed.

In spite of the statistics, failure does not have to be in your future, at least when resolutions are concerned. Studies have shown Twitter can actually help you stay on track with your resolutions because you’re held accountable to a large audience, and it’s easier to find and maintain a support group.

According to Twitter the top tweeted resolutions in January 2014 were:

  1. Work out/go to the gym
  2. Stop smoking
  3. Lose weight
  4. Be happy
  5. Be the best
  6. Stop playing with my phone/use it less
  7. Stop drinking
  8. Love myself more
  9. Read a book
  10. Work harder

Twitter can be a huge help in finding like-minded people who are also working towards the same resolutions. But embracing the power of Twitter isn’t the only thing that will help you be successful with your resolutions. These expert tips will also help you stay on track.

Be your own cheerleader

“Be ready with a strategy for how you will cheerlead yourself through when you start to fall off the routine,” says clinical psychologist Dr. Erin Olivo. Dr. Olivo is an Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology at Columbia University, and the author of Wise Mind Living: Master Your Emotions, Transform Your Life.

“There is a difference between a lapse and a relapse. See your challenges as lapses and you are more likely to get back with the program instead of giving it up. Think in advance about what the obstacles will be to following the plan and problem solve,” Dr. Olivo continues. “If you know that you will never ever be able to stick with a routine to exercise before work, plan a time that will work for you and is sustainable over time.”