Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Quitter’s Circle, a collaboration between the American Lung Association and Pfizer. All thoughts and opinions presented in this post are purely my own.
January is a great time to set a new goal. Everyone around you is excited and motivated with their own goals and it can be a bit contagious. Are you ready to jump in and set your own New Year’s Resolution?
It is crucial not to take this resolution, or goal setting, lightly. It has been reported that 77% of people only make it through the first week before their resolution goes out the window.[i] Even worse, only 40% of people who set New Year’s goals and resolutions continue to maintain them six months later, which dwindles down to 19% two years later.1
How can you stick with your resolutions? How can you be the person who continues on until you reach your goal? It is really important that you take your resolution seriously and prepare for it.
– Don’t Call It a Resolution-
Think of, and refer to your resolution, as a goal. Resolution always has a negative connotation as people joke about how quickly they are broken. As soon as you say the word resolution, it seems people are wondering when you will “break” that resolution, almost as if they are betting against you. So, if resolutions are made to be broken, goals are made to be met, and sometimes even crushed and dominated. This year set a goal, not a resolution.
– Do the Research –
Don’t just jump into your new goal. Set yourself up for success by finding some free time to research what it will take to meet your goal. For example: If your goal is to run your first marathon, you’ll want to research different races to see which ones are best for you, given your time frame, location, budget, etc. If your goal is to quit smoking, you may want to do research to better understand why it can be difficult, and how you may be able to quit successfully.
– Create a Plan –
Now that you have done the research, it is time to create a plan. Those who go into their goal with a specific plan in place may be more likely to succeed than those who just wing it. If we stick to our previous examples – for someone wanting to run their first marathon, this would mean looking at the vast array of marathon training plans available and finding the one that fits you the best. Be sure to take into account things like which plans have more running, which have more strength training, and what the peak mileage is. Be sure to stick to a beginner level plan if this will be your first full marathon. For someone who wants to quit smoking, creating a plan might include getting rid of all the cigarettes in your house, enlisting the support of family and friends, consulting with a doctor, planning healthy alternatives to smoking when a craving hits, and joining the Quitter’s Circle community for additional resources and support.
– Buy the Supplies –
It’s important to be ready on whatever day you decide to quit smoking so that nothing can hold you back from reaching your goal. Therefore, you need to have all of your supplies in place and ready to go. Make a list, head out and get that shopping done. For someone working on their marathon goal, your list might include things like new shoes, running gear, and fuel for long runs.
– Enlist Help –
Finally, those who are most successful with their goals are those who do not go at it alone.[ii] Be sure to enlist help, especially from friends and family to make your journey toward your goal a successful one. Those heading toward a marathon goal may also want to consider hiring a running coach to help them along their journey, or join a running club. Whereas those who are trying to quit smoking should be sure to connect with their healthcare provider to help create a quit plan in order to have the best chance at success.2
[i]Norcross JC, Vangarelli DJ. The resolution solution: longitudinal examination of New Year’s change attempts. J Subst Abuse. 1988;1(2):127-134. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/223679624. Accessed October 19, 2016.
[ii]Fiore MC, Jaén CR, Baker TB, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update—Clinical Practice Guidelines. Rockville (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2008.