How to keep a Christmas promise? The advice of a psychologist

ring in the new year, many people not only make wishes, but also set themselves for the upcoming year specific goal. According to the American psychological Association, 93% of people intend “to start a new life” in the new year. According to surveys, the most common resolutions involve losing weight, a healthy diet, exercising and saving money.

However, studies show that 45% of people forget about these vows by February, and only 19% keep my word for two years.

Lack of willpower or self-control is the main reason why people do not do new year’s resolutions, I’m sure the psychologist Elena Kuzmanovic (Jelena Kecmanovic) from Georgetown University.

In his article presented on the portal of The Conversation, she describes seven strategies that will help to strengthen will power and keep new year’s resolutions.

“These strategies are based on behavioral science and my clinical work with hundreds of people trying to achieve long-term goals,” says the scientist.

1. Clarify your values

Ask yourself why a particular goal is important to you.

for Example, if you want to lose weight, it’s important to understand why you (being in good shape, you will be able to return to the hobby, get rid of social pressure and so on, underline).

People who are guided by their true values more frequently than others to achieve their goals, writes Kecmanovic.

find Out what exactly motivates you and set goals that match your values.

2. Approval instead of denial

Another effective strategy is to focus on what you want to achieve, not on what not to do.

for example, if you want to cut down on drinking, don’t promise yourself not to drink alcohol in the evenings on weekdays. It is better to set a goal to eat from Monday to Friday favorite soft drinks.

According to the psychologist, the fight against underdavleniem thoughts about a particular temptation takes a lot of energy, and sooner or later the desire to do something forbidden to return and intensify.

in addition, when a person “claims” and not “deny”, it is easier to comprehend the aspects of their lives, which he satisfied at this stage.

But it is important not to overdo it: the constant narcissism can lead to inaction (say, I’m done).

If you praise yourself dosed in long term, positive emotions will help to improve self-control.

3. Change the environment

Studies show that people with iron will power well-organized personal space in such a way that it uses the least possible temptation.

For example, if your goal is to start saving, it is better not to carry in a purse Bank card, encourage them to waste. But if you decided to eat healthy food, we can hardly keep in your Desk drawer for nutritious “something for tea” or a packet of crisps. Out of sight, as they say.

If your coworkers regularly bring sweets to work, ask them not to tempt you once again.

According to the psychologist, the support of family, friends and colleagues can significantly increase your chances of achieving your goals.

By the way, in this case, any support is important. So it would be nice to find like-minded people or start chatting with people who have already achieved the same goals you set yourself. By the way, the presence of role models (e.g., teacher-student) improves self-control.

4. The strategy of “if-then”

Formulate for himself a plan of action in case of possible obstacles. Of the workpiece from the category of “if it will happen, I’ll do that” improve self-control and help to achieve the goal.

for Example, you know that I can Wake up in the middle of the night with an overwhelming desire to eat cake. Pick yourself that in this case, you begin to read the magazine about nutrition, Zaydete in an online community of people leading a healthy lifestyle, or slowly eat an Apple, enjoying every bite.

If you are tired and want to skip a workout, call a “support group”. Another possible option: to agree with someone of like-minded people to put forward together with you to practice at any time of day and in any weather.

To strengthen self-control, it is best to not only consider, but to submit all their actions. Then, in the case of “emergency situation” you don’t have to think and negotiate with yourself.

5. Not all at once

Moving towards new goals, start small and don’t forget about the importance of the first, even the most modest of victories.

If you decided to limit the consumption of sweets, do it gradually. For example, each time stir it into your coffee a little less sugar. Eventually you will start to get used to the new taste and will be able to completely abandon sugar, and sometimes less harmful sweeteners.

Another option: if you feel that you can’t refuse inviting buns, promise yourself to eat it in ten minutes (some nutritionists also recommend drinking a glass of water). Chances are that after this time your desire will not be as strong and you have to avoid failure.

6. Visualize your success and enjoy

Imagine the release of endorphins after exercise and how warm the sun warm your skin when you return from a run. Think about how you fasten beautiful dress size smaller, or how you speak with a foreigner in a language that has recently started to learn.

Concentrate on the pleasant sensations – the smells, sounds and so on. Visualization of the awards helps to do what ultimately will lead to achieving the goal, says the psychologist.

According to Kecmanovic, at the initial stage to imagine your achievements and experience can be difficult. In this case, it is possible motivate yourself with small gifts (which do not contradict your new “ideology”), until you feel the joy of the first victories.

7. Be kind to yourself during setbacks

to strengthen the will power, it is important condescending attitude to yourself. According to psychologist, people who blame themselves even in minor mishaps, as a rule, harder to achieve the goal in the long term.

it is Important to remember that we are all imperfect, so if failure is inevitable, you need to relax and accept it. You can feel sorry for yourself. But in any case not to go into self-criticism, not to give up and strengthen the confidence that tomorrow will succeed.

by the Way, before “Conduct.Science” ( told me about how the representation of the “future self” affects the feeling of happiness, and that man may prolong his life, determine its objective.

Text: To.Science