So how’s the new year going?

Yesterday, my husband asked me if I had made any New Year’s resolutions for 2019 and I squirmed. I had just stumbled on an index card of last year’s resolutions and realized I’d only kept up with two. Just two! But those two were big ones—and I’m committed to do more of them this year. So I like the idea of making resolutions on January 1st, but something tends to derail my good intentions.

It seems I’m not alone.

According to US News & World Report, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. And the New York Times states that only 8% of resolutions will be carried throughout the year.

And yet, and yet…New Year’s resolutions are a great idea. We all have bad habits to break and good habits to adopt. The year ahead is a clean slate—a chance to do it right. Or at least a little bit better.

So what goes wrong? Studies say (and yes, there are researchers who study New Year’s resolutions) that they fail because they are too vague, not specific enough, not personal, not realistic, unsustainable, and provide no reward.

Let’s flip this conversation around. What makes a New Year’s resolution go right?

On the radio today, I heard some common sense suggestions on how to set yourself up for more success. I wrote them down as I listened, and then hunted for the source on-line, but alas…I couldn’t find it. However, I think this will give you the gist:

Choose clear and achievable goals.

           Break goals down into steps.

           Tell family or friends. (Accountability! So important.)

           Reward yourself. (Helps your brain latch on that this is a good thing.)

This year, I’m going to work on a few more do-able resolutions by employing this realistic and encouraging strategy.

What about you? Do you make New Year’s resolutions? And have you had success with them? Any strategies to help others? Please share in comments! And may the Lord bless you in this sparkling new year.

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