By Sarah Shroyer
Has this ever happened to you? “I vow to run 10 miles every single day!” You start out strong and run at least a few miles maybe once or twice a week. But by the weekend you are on the couch eating potato chips and watching a re-run of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
Although I have never vowed to run 10 miles each day, I have made many resolutions throughout the years. Some were successful, while others failed miserably.
Regarding failed resolutions, a couple of years ago my younger sister made a resolution that unfortunately failed within the first week. “I promise to not be rude to my sisters!” was her one-week resolution.
That first week I made a comment to her that she took offensively. She initially started to yell but quickly stopped and dropped the matter. I really liked this “new” sister. Unfortunately, she was back to her old self the following week.
Clearly, my sister and I do not have a good record with resolutions. However, last year one of my resolutions actually stuck. I decided to stress out less in the upcoming year. Shockingly, 48 hours later I was still going strong. A couple of months later I realized, “Wow! I’m not as stressed anymore!”
After my multiple failures with other resolutions, I finally succeeded, but how did I succeed? I really did not do anything out of the ordinary, no extended Florida vacation, no spa trip, no quiet music or a daily four-hour nap. My resolution came true because I wrote it down.
Yes, it’s quite cliché but writing down a goal actually helps you achieve it. When you write down a goal you can read it when you feel as if you want to give up and it can give you encouragement. Writing goals in a planner, or even typing them on your phone can serve to motivate and remind you.
According to a study conducted by the Dominican University of California, a group of participants that wrote down their goals “accomplished significantly more than those who did not write their goals.”
The same study also found that of the five groups tested, group five, who had to “formulate action commitments and send their goals, action commitments and weekly progress reports to a supportive friend” performed the best. This accountability helped the participants in group five meet their goals.
Although it’s almost a month into the new year it is not too late for your resolutions to come true. I suggest telling a friend about your resolution, writing it down, or both! With the right motivation and perseverance 11 months down the road you could find your goal was a success.