How to Avoid Procrastination Triggers and Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

We’re all eager for a fresh start when the New Year comes around. Unfortunately, too many of those great intensions fall victim to procrastination. Research shows only 8 percent who make a resolution will keep it. Each time we fail to follow through on a New Year’s resolution, we pass a threshold that could make us happier, healthier and wealthier. Certified life coach and author of “Beyond Procrastination: How to Stop Postponing Your Life,” Renate Reimann, Ph.D., lays out a proven method to discover and manage those nagging procrastination triggers.

1. Pick the highest priority for 2016 and make it your New Year’s resolution. By focusing on a single goal, you eliminate the clutter of all those extraneous resolutions. You’re much more likely to procrastinate when faced with multiple resolutions. It’s tough to constantly decide which resolution to honor at any given time. “Beginning something new starts in the head,” advises Reimann. “To add even more determination to pursuing your goal, start thinking, fantasizing and planning right now. The clearer your next steps and new behaviors are in your mind, the easier it will be to get into action on New Year’s Day.”

2. Label your New Year’s resolution to energize you. The more precisely, enticingly and memorably you can label your goal, the more you’ll be moved to follow through. Advertisers spend millions on branding (Nike’s “Just Do It”) because it works to get people to act. Do the same with your New Year’s resolution. Give it a label, a brand that compels you to act. Avoid any negative terms or emotions that create resistance and delays. Say your resolution out loud. It should make you smile or want to jump into action, keep rephrasing it until it feels right.

3. Break down your resolution into concrete action steps. Many New Year’s resolutions fade away quickly because they lack substance. They’re only vague notions in our minds. Make sure yours is clearly defined, with specific tasks and behaviors that feel doable and not just generalized commitments like “I’ll exercise more or lose some weight.” Instead, set specific stepped goals like “I’ll run a mile each day and add a half a mile every month” or “I’ll skip that morning donut then lose that sugared drink for lunch.”

4. Mark important activities and milestones on your 2016 calendar. Like all your work “to dos,” every New Year’s resolution activity should be mapped out with reminders and blocked-off times on your 2016 calendar. This keeps you moving forward toward your specific and singular goal—especially those longer-term commitments. Should you forget about your goal for a week, seeing those items scheduled on your calendar will help get you back on track. “Start times can have a profound symbolic value—like January 1 of 2016,” notes Reimann. “These offer a powerful motivational boost. Make sure you pinpoint an exact date to avoid fizzling out before you even get into that fabulous new thing.”

5. Create a support network. If you can, bring other people into your New Year’s resolution, either by sharing the same goal and working together, or by asking a spouse or good friend to keep you on track, honest and accountable.

6. Forgive yourself if your slip. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip a bit. Unless it leads to immediate action, guilt can be a real de-motivator. Instead of wallowing in self-recrimination if you slip, refocus on your goal. You’re only human.

7. Reward yourself. Be sure to keep track of your successes and reward yourself accordingly. This positive reinforcement will help you through the peaks and valleys of your resolution. Positive outcomes take time, and a little instant gratification can be very helpful—just make it a reward that won’t undermine your overall objective.

63 comments

Paulo R
Paulo R5 months ago

ty

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Paulo R
Paulo R5 months ago

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Paulo R
Paulo R5 months ago

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Paulo R
Paulo R5 months ago

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Paulo R
Paulo R6 months ago

ty

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Paulo R
Paulo R6 months ago

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William C
William C2 years ago

Thanks.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Roberto M.
Past Member 3 years ago

THANKS

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Roberto M.
Past Member 3 years ago

THANKS

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