Now is the time to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions, especially if you’re a procrastinator. Talking to friends and family right now can help can help anyone get on track and stick with their New Year’s resolutions, said Joseph Ferrari, author of “Still Procrastinating?: The No Regrets Guide to Getting it Done.”
Ferrari, professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago, offered a number of tips for those trying to keep New Year’s resolutions. Problems arise, he noted, when people keep their resolutions private.
“When you keep resolutions a secret, no one is going to check up on you,” he said. “You’re only accountable to yourself.”
People may want to consider publicly posting what they are going to do because it helps to hold them accountable to their resolutions, he said.
Ferrari suggested that people have parties to publicly share their resolutions. Each person at the party could write down a resolution on a piece of paper and place it in a hat. Then, everyone would draw a resolution out of the hat and guess who wrote it.
Another tip is to be realistic with your New Year’s goals and not take on a resolution that is too difficult to obtain.
“You can’t lose 40 pounds in four months, but you can lose four pounds in four months and keep it off,” Ferrari offered. “If you lose 10 pounds and your goal was four, you’ve still succeeded. If you lose 10 pounds and your goal was 40, you’ve failed.”
Overly ambitious goals can drain a person’s confidence when they are not met, Ferrari noted. People can build on the small, observable victories and possibly achieve bigger down goals the line.
“Don’t try and do everything,” Ferrari said. “Take things on one at a time.”
Ferrari offered this list of resolutions for the coming year:
- Return emails and phone calls within 24 hours.
- Turn phones off during meetings. Focus!
- Be on time and prepared for meetings.
- Be on time and prepared for meetings.Get money tax-free by opening a Roth IRA.
- Write a will; choose a guardian.
- Free-up more time—outsource or delegate some of your responsibilities if necessary.
- Reduce bad habits. It could be to stop smoking, exercise or reduce clutter, but only work on one at a time.
- Pick a prize to reward yourself, but just one.
- Reward yourself at the end of a project.
- Tough comes first. Don’t put off the hardest parts of your resolution.