We hope that you’ve all recovered from your New Year’s Eve (and perhaps New Year’s Day) reveling, and that your body is slowly but surely forgiving you for various excesses…but hey, New Year’s only happens once a year, right?

Of course, this is also the time when people around the world make New Year’s Resolutions. Before getting to the poll question, let’s look at some bad news and then some good news about these annual pledges.

The Bad News…

The bad news is that about 92% of people fail to achieve their New Year’s Resolutions. So if you’ve been down that dead end road a few times in your life, then rest assured you aren’t alone. Actually, you’re in the overwhelming majority.

The Good News…

The good news, on the other hand, is that some people can and do achieve their New Year’s Resolutions — and it’s not because they’re lucky or their goals are really simple. It’s because they follow (whether they realize it or not) strategies that psychologists say put them on track to succeed. These strategies include:

  1. Limit the number of resolutions. Picking 1-3 goals is better than having a long list.
  2. Make resolutions attainable, measurable and realistic. Makes sense!
  3. Create a plan to reach the first attainable goal. A journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step, right?
  4. Stay focused and visualize success.
  5. Have faith in yourself. If you don’t believe you can do it, then you’ve basically lost the battle before it’s even been fought.
  6. Do at least one thing each day — even if it’s a small thing — that advances you towards your goal.
  7. Track your progress. Many people underestimate how far they’ve come, and they prematurely quit and go back to their old ways and habits.
  8. Consider asking people around you for help. Make sure to pick people who will be supportive and encouraging. Better yet, find people who also need support to keep their resolutions, and you can form a dream team.
  9. Make your goal specific.
  10. Celebrate small wins. But be careful: sometimes people reward themselves for little victories, and they end up going backwards instead of forward. So for example, don’t celebrate putting one spoon of sugar in your coffee instead of three spoons in your coffee by eating half a cake at 3:00am.
The Poll Question

OK, now that you’ve learned how to make New Year’s Resolutions work for you vs. against you, we’d like to know: what are your resolutions for the year ahead?

Your aspirations might be related to anything. For example, maybe you’d like to achieve certain goals at work, improve your knowledge, get another IT certification, spend more time with your family, improve your health, travel, learn to play an instrument — there’s no limit.

Please post your New Year’s Resolutions below. Doing so can help you commit to achieving your goals, and you may inspire others in the community to improve as well.

You Could Win

We’ll randomly select two participants and award them a gift certificate. We’ll announce the winners and highlight some responses at the end of the month.