7 psychological tricks to achieve your New Years resolutions
A new year full of good intentions and illusions? do you know how to achieve your goals in 2017?
A new year arrives and, with it, something inevitable: the illusion of a new beginningThe desire to undertake projects that make us improve as people and break with the problems of the past, the desire to leave behind habits that we do not like...
In short, the New Year's resolutions are here.
What New Year's resolutions are you going to make?
To what extent these exciting ideas are more fanciful or more realistic, depends to a greater extent on us, our capabilities and the desire we put into them. However, there is another factor to take into account: the possibility of using what we know about the human mind to make our new goals more realistic. to make our new goals easier to achieve.
Or, in other words, the option of knowing and applying certain psychological tricks to face the challenges to come in the best conditions.
Here you have 7 keys that will help you to be a little closer to that "I" of the future you want to become. you want to become.
1. Make your goals concrete
It is common to create New Year's resolutions that are too abstract or ambiguous to be pursued. For example, wishes such as "I want to be freer" or "I am going to learn more" often come to nothing precisely because we don't even know what specific goals we need to achieve. What does it mean to be free? What do we want to learn?
That is why it is important that, right from the start, we have clear, rather concrete goals. This, on the one hand, will make us have consistent goals over time (which will allow us to approach them and not other "distractions") and, on the other hand, will make it possible to assess as objectively as possible whether we have fulfilled our New Year's resolutions or not.
2. Create intervals
In the previous point we talked about the importance of detailing as much as possible the objectives or sub-objectives we want to achieve. However, once we have done this, we can transform these concrete goals into intervals with a maximum and a minimum value that mark what we consider acceptable. For example, if we want to lose weight, it is better to set the sub-goal of losing between 1.2 kg and 0.8 kg every two weeks than to set a target of losing 1 kg every two weeks.
This is because there is evidence that if we set goals in intervals, we perceive them as more achievable and more motivating.
3. Plan short-term goals
This step, in fact, serves to not always leave for tomorrow the tasks that, in order to achieve your New Year's resolutions, you must start today.. That will be an almost irresistible temptation if you do not set intermediate goals (between your current situation and the end of the year that begins) at very specific times of the calendar, but if you divide your personal development plans into several pieces and make them be distributed in small daily or weekly goals, you will have it much easier to meet your goals.
For that, nothing like making well established schedules and setting short deadlines to reach your small personal goals.
4. Use a physical calendar
Having a physical calendar and placing it in a place you see very often is important because.... it is more important to run away from it! If your calendar is digital, you can probably only see it if you want to, by clicking on certain buttons. On the other hand, a paper calendar with annotations and dates marked in garish colors is harder to ignore.. Even if you want to.
5. Start your New Year's plan now
Several studies suggest that New Year's Eve and the first days of January are a unique time to get started in earnest with your projects. The reason is that in this small period of time, and no other, people tend to consider that we have changed by the fact of having passed through that temporary border that is New Year's Eve and, therefore, we think it is easier to "unlearn old habits and adopt others while we are in those days.
It is something like a window of opportunity that opens in our calendar and that could make us less likely to resist change. Possibly this also occurs on a longer time scale: according to research, people with an age whose last digit ends in 9 (29, 39, etc.) have a greater desire to undertake new projects and give new meaning to their lives..
Knowing this is important, because even if it is something to some extent irrational and unconscious, we can take advantage of it in a very rational way. The method is simple: if we are predisposed to stop thinking of ourselves as people chained to their habits, it is better to start adopting new habits right then and there. This will make the transition to this new way of behaving more comfortable and more likely to succeed.
6. Take advantage of peer pressure
In the field of psychology, it has been known for some time that group pressure is capable of increasing our capacity for effort in a very significant way.. For example, psychological therapy programs for Smoking cessation are usually more successful if they are carried out in group sessions, and the performance of athletes also improves when they strive alongside other people who do the same, although theoretically they are not competing with each other.
That's why it's a good idea to share your New Year's resolutions with other people and have them do the same in turn, to put everyone's aspirations in common. This will create a kind of contract around these promises that will be more difficult to break and will keep us away from the tempting possibility of throwing in the towel.
7. Do an assessment of the past year
This part may seem less exciting and exciting than the task of setting goals and imagining the future ahead, but it is also very necessary. Why? Because allows us to make sense of the idea of setting new year's goals.In other words, when a new period of our lives begins, we see as something interesting the option of setting new goals again, as we are used to take this as a serious and important project.
In addition, of course, this will allow us to see our progress in certain areas of personal development, which is very motivating and will make us look forward to the challenges ahead.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)