Sunday, December 16, 2018

How to Make a New Years Resolution That Will Actually Work

There are a lot of interesting statistics out there regarding New Years Resolutions.

Some indicate that they don’t work (this study found that only about 20% of resolutions were successful after two years).  Others indicate that resolutions can still be a powerful tool to achieve a difficult goal (one study found that at 6 months in, 46% of those who made resolutions were successful compared to only 4% of those who didn’t!).  Overall, the consensus seems to be: resolutions can work.  However, most don’t work long term.  Which is what it’s all about, right?

Let’s say you want to lose 20lbs this New Year.  Ideally, you would want to keep them off, and not just have to make the same resolution again come January 2020.  This is something people often fail to consider.  Having specific goals is a great tool for the short term, but what happens once you achieve them?  Do you just return to your normal eating behaviors that got you 20lbs heavier in the first place?  This is a shortcut to getting right back to where you started, which might explain the above statistics: 6 months in, almost half of those who made resolutions seemed to be successful…but fast-forward two years and that number drops to less than a quarter.

So how do you ensure your resolution will work both in the short and the long term?

The answer begins with the way you set your goals. 

There are two types of goals: product goals and process-oriented goals. Process-oriented goals focus on building habits and on the journey and methods used to achieve a product goal.  Product goals focus on a specific outcome.  They are interconnected, and both are necessary for success.  

Using the previous example: losing 20 lbs would be your product goal. However, your process goals could be things like going for a daily walk, watching portion sizes, getting to the gym 3 times a week, etc.  The secret to maintaining your product goal?  Building solid process goals. Losing those 20lbs will be rewarding in and of itself.  But the magic happens when those process goals turn into habits, and the weight stays off.

This is the time to start forming your New Years Resolutions, but this year form them in a smarter and more efficient way.  Have a product goal, but focus on your process goals.

Need help with your resolution to reduce stress and be healthier in the workplace?  Start talking to your employer about how our corporate wellness services can be of assistance!

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