2016 has been a big one for many of us and like every year, we have the opportunity to say goodbye to an era and welcome the exciting things to come in 2017.
New Year’s Eve is a night to celebrate, drink too many bubbles, revel in the successes from the past 12 months, and cheers to saying so-long to those heavier, drearier 2016 memories and events.
Along with the symbolic nature of “in with the new and out with the old” the 31st of December has, it is also a time to set new goals for the future. From Best Doctors we want to wish you an incredible New Year and help make your goals happen!
A recent study conducted by the University of Scranton found that the associating a new goal to a specific time of year can increase success rates. Experts analysed the behavioural patterns of two groups of goal setters – one associating their resolutions to new years and the other to a random date during the year. After a 6 month period, 46% of the New Year resolution setters had successfully stuck to the change proposed in their life. Only a staggering 4% of those who had embarked on their challenge during a random time of the year continued to practice their healthy habit after 6 months.
It is important to avoid setting yourself up for failure. To do so, don’t put too many changes on your plate at once on the 1st of January. The only thing you will achieve is feeling dreadful when you come to realize so much immediate change isn’t possible.
It is recommendable to set yearly goals but schedule them throughout 2017 as opposed to starting everything at once. Start the gym in January. If after 6 weeks you are still going strong, start cutting back on booze (or whatever your resolutions entail). If after a couple of months these first two major lifestyle changes are still a part of your 2017 life, incorporate a new challenge. Forbes.com recommends that goal-setters should “enlist the support of friends or colleagues, share your plans with them, get feedback and meet at regular intervals to share your progress”.
It is also advisable to break up each individual New Year resolution into stages. This will help reach milestones more often and keep you motivated to continue. For example, if 2017 is the year you hope to get your finances in order, there are steps that need to be scheduled to make this a reality.
- Meet a financial advisor
- Set up a saving scheme and cut down on unnecessary spending
- Hire an accountant
- Determine a charitable giving strategy to maximize their deductions
A cause and effect chain will determine whether or not you succeed with your New Year’s resolution. Recognising the chain associated to your goal and planning ahead will help make 2017 an outstanding year full of great achievements.
WebMD also suggests avoiding 100% resolutions. Proposing that you will never try another sweet again in your entire life just isn’t realistic. Be smarter than your inner rebel and set yourself up for success by significantly cutting down but allowing one or two “cheat days”.
Keep record of your accomplishments. If you don’t succeed at one step towards your end 2017 goal – don’t be so hard on yourself and make reference to everything you have achieved! Remember that no one is perfect and festering on one small failure is an attitude that will hinder your long-term success.
Best Doctors has faith that you can achieve great things. We truly hope that your 2017 is a healthy year full of joy, love and success!
Happy New Year!