Less than 10 percent of the people who make new year’s resolutions are able to follow through. Everyone else lapses into familiar bad habits.
If you commit to improvement in 2009, make it stick. Write your resolution in numerous places so that you create highly visible reinforcement messages. Tape these notes to your bathroom mirror, computer monitor and other hard-to-miss spots.
Write the notes in capital letters using a felt-tip marker. Larger and more confident messages work better than an indecipherable scribble.
Visualize a positive outcome. Imagine it’s January 2010 and you’re reflecting on a successful year guided by your determined resolve. You’re more likely to deliver on your commitment if you conjure a detailed vision of goal attainment.
Enlist others as friendly “enforcers.” Assign a few allies to cheer you on and check in with you periodically. If you know you’ll need to provide progress reports to others, you motivate yourself to push harder so as not to disappoint them.
Finally, make sure you’re driven to succeed for the right reasons. Ideally, a new year’s resolution should reflect your deep desire to gain something of value (better health, stronger relationships, etc.) rather than your attempt to impress others.