For an optimal site experience, we recommend using a different browser.
Using Internet Explorer may prevent you from accessing Chubb.com, and some site features may not function as expected.

X

If you’re like well, almost anyone, at some point in your life, you’ve proclaimed goals and resolutions for a new year. As January 1 approaches, many of us are making lists full of all the things we’ll accomplish in the coming year. Gyms will be full, register lines long as we shop for smaller-sized clothing, tables full of homemade meals instead of takeout and bucket list items checked off all over the world. Or will they?

A recent study showed only 8 percent of those who make resolutions feel they were successful at keeping them.1 Considering that more than half of us make resolutions, that’s a whole lot of unattained goals. Here are four ways to improve your chances for success this year:

1.   Select for success

It may seem counter-intuitive, but when you’re planning goals, you can shoot too high. You won’t just wake up and change your life. You not only need a plan for what to do, but also plan for what roadblocks you’ll come across along the way.2 Applying some realism to your planning process and choosing changes you can achieve within a reasonable amount of time boosts your motivation and decreases the time you’ll wait for feeling a sense of accomplishment. For example, if you’re committed to getting regular exercise, schedule and keep three weekly appointments for a month instead of planning to work out daily and indefinitely. As you succeed, you may opt to expand your goals.

2.   Plan for permanent change

You’ll give yourself your best shot at success if you set a goal that’s doable — and meaningful too.3 One trick to goal achievement is changing a wishful goal into a routine habit that we do automatically. So how do we do that? There’s only one way: consistency built through habits. Habits are actions we do on a repetitive basis. These are the essence of consistency. Consistency allows you to turn your focus off the outcome of the goal and put your attention on the process that will get you there.4 If your resolutions involve reading more books, make reading a habit. Pick a time of day you enjoy reading most, schedule it and do it. Or fill a long commute with the books you’re missing out on. If you stick with your appointments, your brain will soon associate reading with those times of day, effectively making your goal a habit.

·       Check out 10 of the Biggest Mistakes People Make when Getting (back) into Working Out

 

3.   Change your surroundings

Have you ever wondered why elementary teachers often change seating arrangements in their classrooms? Sure, it likely has to do with breaking up chit-chatty groups of pals, but there may be another idea at work. Studies show that a simple change in environment helps form new habits.5 Sitting in a different chair in the evening can make it easier to complete a stack of paperwork on your to-do list. A vacation atmosphere may help ease you into a new habit of waking earlier. Consider changing your location to increase your chances for success.

4.   Share, but with the right person

Have your goals figured out?  The next step is to tell someone who you perceive as having “higher -status” than you.  Research from the Ohio State University suggests that telling your goals to someone you hold in high esteem helps you keep your goals, while sharing them with someone like a friend or a peer has no effect on your ability to keep those goals.6 This is in contrast to older wisdom that suggested you keep your goals to yourself for more success.

Remember, the new year isn’t the only time of year it makes sense to set goals – the right time is when a change is right for you. Start by choosing a goal that is attainable, so you can feel successful sooner rather than later and as a result, grow your motivation. Turn your goals into habits and before you know it, they will become a way of life.

Cheers to the change you’re aiming for in 2022!

 

References:

1- Schwantes, M. (2018, June 13). Science says only 8 percent of people actually achieve their goals. here are 7 things they do differently. Retrieved November 24, 2021, from https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/science-says-only-8-percent-of-people-actually-achieve-their-goals-here-are-7-things-they-do-differently.html

2- How to make (and keep) a new year's resolution. (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/guides/smarterliving/resolution-ideas

3- How to make (and keep) a new year's resolution. (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/guides/smarterliving/resolution-ideas

4- Straw, E. (2021, April 22). The power of consistency when working towards a goal. Retrieved November 24, 2021, from https://addicted2success.com/success-advice/the-power-of-consistency-when-working-towards-a-goal/

5- Chu, M. (2017, August 21). Why your environment is the biggest factor in Changing your life. Retrieved November 24, 2021, from https://www.inc.com/melissa-chu/its-possible-to-design-your-environment-to-help-yo.html#:~:text=Making%20changes%20to%20your%20environment,up%20to%20practice%20better%20habits.

6- Klein, H. J., Lount, R. B., Jr., Park, H. M., & Linford, B. J. (2020). When goals are known: The effects of audience relative status on goal commitment and performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 105(4), 372–389. https://doi.org/10.1037/apl0000441