5 strategies for succeeding at New Year’s resolutions

Happy New Year to you all and, yes, it’s that time of year again … time for the dreaded New Year’s resolution.

What New Year’s resolution do you have for 2015?

  • to finish that manuscript
  • to get your book edited
  • to get your manuscript published
  • to read x number of books per month

Whether your New Year’s resolution is editing-related or not, I’d like to share some strategies you can employ to ensure you successfully achieve your resolution this year.

A 2007 experiment conducted by Quirkology identified the following strategies to improve your chances of succeeding:

  1. Focus on only one resolution – rather than a long list, choose one manageable goal
  2. Make it personal – think about what you really want out of life, because a personal goal will mean more to you than a generic goal
  3. Avoid previous resolutions – memories of previous failed attempts will sap your energy, so choose something new
  4. Plan ahead – take some time out to plan your goal
  5. Be specific – vague plans inevitably fail, so think through exactly what you are going to do, where you are going to do it and at what time. For example, to finish my manuscript each weekday I’m going to write 1000 – 2000 words from 9 am until 5 pm with an hour for lunch.

Quirkology also discovered that certain additional strategies specifically help men and women achieve their goals (although I think these additional strategies probably apply to men and women).

For men

  • Set SMART goals – remember these? Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based
  • Carrot not stick – focus on the benefits of achieving your goal

For women

  • Go public – research has shown that sharing your goal with family/friends means you will be more likely to achieve it
  • Be persistent – don’t let slip-ups dissuade you from your goal

So [deep breathe] in the interests of going public and following these strategies, I’d like to offer my New Year’s resolution. As this is my first blog post, I’d like to commit to at least one (possibly two) blog posts per month.

Achievable? I think so, but we’ll wait and see …

Until next time 🙂