The end of the year is nearly here, and if you are planning to set a New Year’s resolution you are not alone. According to this Forbes article, over 40 percent of Americans make resolutions; however, after six months only 46 percent of people are able to maintain their goals. In other words, the odds are not in your favor, yet, if you are willing to change your mindset the chance of sustaining your resolutions greatly improves.
Further, the good news is that change is possible. The brain science behind neuroplasticity teaches that our brains are able not only to adapt to change, but are able to form new connections. With training and practice our brain is able to create new patterns.
There are things you can do to optimize the chance you can succeed and reach your goals.
Here are Five Things to Help You Sustain Your New Year’s resolutions:
Practice the law of detachment. One of the most common goals is weight loss or achieving a healthy lifestyle. When you practice the law of detachment, this doesn’t mean that you overindulge in fattening foods and smoke. However, if you remain extremely focused on reaching a certain weight, for example, and for some reason you are unable to achieve it, this does not mean you failed. In The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Dr. Deepak Chopra writes when you practice detachment “You don’t give up your intention, and you don’t give up your desire. You give up your attachment to the result.”
Dr. Chopra adds, “Anything you want can be acquired through detachment, because detachment is based on the unquestioning belief in the power of your true Self.”
Appreciate your unbounded potential. Goal setting can be exciting, but reaching one can be cumbersome and at times stressful. Most successful people will tell you that their path to abundance wasn’t easy. However, they believe that in their inner- core is unbounded potential. Unbounded potential underlies all that they do. And tapping into this is available to all at any time. Unbounded potential fuels success.
Remain open. Being willing to learn a new way to approach a task or tweaking your performance can help you. Often there is more than one way to reach or maintain a resolution, and getting feedback from others can provide a richer perspective. Success brooks an open mind. The brightest people are able to appreciate a plethora of ideas.
Practice gratitude. According to a 2015 research study, gratitude positively impacted the well- being in asymptomatic heart failure patients. Dr. Paul Mills and his colleagues found that gratitude not only improved patients’ moods but it also resulted in better sleep and less fatigue.
Gratitude is a component of a healthy lifestyle. And when you are more rested, chances are you will be better able to cope with daily stressors that could potentially set back your goals.
Understand that time is on your side. In this recent piece, researchers found that breakthrough success didn’t depend on youth, but instead on productivity. Success is a result of hard, disciplined work. Being consistent in your efforts, according to this study, eventually produces fruitful results. You have to continuously participate in the process in order to reap the benefit.
Overnight successes are few and far between as they often begin with writing out their goals or a New Year’s resolution. Goal setting taken together with these five things can provide a more abundant life.
Kristin Meekhof, LMSW is a licensed master’s level social worker and co-author of A Widows’s Guide to Healing.